Ideas for Teaching Children About Differently Abled People

"Is it not possible to look beyond the canes, the wheelchairs, the braces, and the crutches into the hearts of the people who have need of these aids? They are human beings and want only to be treated as ordinary people. They may appear different, move awkwardly, and speak haltingly, but they have the same feelings. They laugh, they cry, they know discouragement and hope. They do not want to be shunned. They want to be loved for what they are inside, without any prejudice for their impairment. Can there not be more tolerance for differences—differences in capacity, differences in body and in mind? Those who are close to the handicapped can frequently feel the nobility of the spirits who are confined in differently shaped bodies or who have crippled minds." -James E. Faust, "The Works of God", Ensign, Nov. 1984, 54

When I was 11 years I got to hold a baby for the first time in my life. My parents struggled with fertility and I was an only child. I was at a friend's home and with 6 children it was quite different from my home. At one point I ended up in a rocker holding a precious little baby. I can clearly remember how beautiful I thought she was. I held her and she went to sleep amid so much noise and chaos. I traced her face with my finger and was just so very grateful to be holding such an amazing blessing from God. That sweet angel had Down Syndrome. She died a few years later. Her and my son actually share the same death date (not the same year). God's timing is so interesting.

From that moment in my life, I've had a deep and profound respect for God's special children. They are perfect. They can learn. They are here to teach us. So let's love.

Read the rest of this story at sofiasprimaryideas.blogspot.com
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