Thursday, August 7, 2014

Explaining Disability to a Child through Dolls

A family that cares for a child with disability regularly faces a lot of challenges. Every family member becomes involved in the task to maintain a welcoming, comforting environment for their disabled child. However, a recent study suggests that siblings may be the most affected of all.

Like everyone else, siblings of children with disability go through good and not-so-good times with their respective families. It’s normal for them to have different—even contradicting—feelings and thoughts about their differently-abled brother or sister. As a parent, your role is to help your non-disabled children understand their disabled sibling better. An 18-inch doll may be the best tool to facilitate that.

There are companies that sell dolls for boys and girls which are specially made for siblings of disabled kids. These toys are designed to help the siblings understand the special needs of their brother or sister with disability. Quality toys like dolls were made to raise awareness about disability within a family, and to foster some understanding and a more empathetic and accepting environment in the home.

If your disabled child has siblings, you may find that one or the other may handle the family dynamics better and adjust well more than the other who may need some support. As their parent, you’re the best judge of which of your children needs that extra support. Talk to a child psychologist or counsellor on how you can help your children adjust properly. 

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