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Thread: Kids asking about your injury

  1. #1

    Kids asking about your injury

    I don't know if this goes here or in "family", but what is a good way to answer a kid you don't know, when they come up and ask you what happened to you? Some kids i don't mind telling them, but some are kind of rude and I find myself resistant to just telling them my personal story when they don't even know my name, etc.

    Lately, I have started asking them first what their name is and telling them mine and just being vague at first, like, well if you want to know more about me, tell me about yourself... On the other hand, I feel like its ok for kids to ask questions. I have two sides of me-one that wants to be open and doesn't mind questions and one that wants to be treated like any stranger- you wouldn't go up to them and ask them to tell you about their past injuries...

    Help me with my attitude...

  2. #2
    I wrote this on my blog quite some time ago. I hope it's germane to your question.



    I find that children are fascinated by my “otherness.” They are enthralled with the adaptive devices I use. They want to know how I manage. Whenever possible, I share my world with them. I let the children I know ride in my wheelchairs – they LOVE my powerchair. I let them operate the buttons on my van that deploy my ramp, I show them how the hand-controls work. I let them work Pearl through “bring it” by dropping things on the floor showing them how to have her retrieve. I show them how she pushes my wheelchair.

    Kids see right through my “otherness.” They quickly understand that I’m just a person. A grown-up like all the rest but I come with all these cool toys.

    I was zipping through the lobby of a medical building. A mom and her son of about 4 or 5 years old were playing quiet games to pass time. The kid spots me and shouts out:

    “HEY! WHY DO YOU HAVE THAT WHEELCHAIR?”

    https://jenlongdon.wordpress.com/201...es-of-a-child/
    My blog: Living Life at Butt Level

    Ignite Phoenix #9 - Wheelchairs and Wisdom: Living Life at Butt Level

    "I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit."

    Dawna Markova Author of Open Mind.

  3. #3
    I love how my grandkids like to play in my wheelchair, use my reacher, think my wheels are cool and love to ride in my lap, etc. I love kids. But how do I answer the kid you doesn't know me & who comes up to me in public and demands to know what happened to me. I guess I have encountered some rude kids and thats the tough moment for me. The ones who are just curious its much easier...I don't mind telling them.

  4. #4
    I'm not sure that they're rude so much as unfiltered when they ask bluntly what's happened. Kids are naturally curious and lack tact.

    I am intolerant of actual rude children; they only earn a raised eyebrow and my best mommy death stare if I acknowledge them at all - in any situation not just "Hey what's wrong with you?"
    My blog: Living Life at Butt Level

    Ignite Phoenix #9 - Wheelchairs and Wisdom: Living Life at Butt Level

    "I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit."

    Dawna Markova Author of Open Mind.

  5. #5
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
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    I tell them I didn't eat all my vegetables or drink all my milk when I was young, so let this be a lesson ... I get the startled 'O' from children and a reassuring smile and wink from parents ...

    Then tell them I'm joking and tickle them up their spines and tell them mine broke ... kids always want to hang off the back of the chair or touch my wheels or be near to me. It's funny. Must be because we're nearly on the same eye level. I always encourage a smile and wave when they stare. Smiles are reassuring and something universal.

    Kids are so funny - I want one! lol
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

  6. #6
    Kids are curious and honest. I do as much as I can to help them develop a positive attitude toward disability. How I respond depends on the child's age and the questions they ask. It may be something as "my legs do not work because I had a bad fall," to something that gets into basic neurology. I regularly have talks with kids about disability in the elementary school at the end of the block I live on. I hate it when a child wanders over and starts asking questions and their parent rushes over and drags them away. I do not want them to grow up ignorant about disability like I did. IMO developing positive in kids attitudes is one of the most important things we can do to improve acceptance of us.
    You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @
    http://www.rstce.pitt.edu/RSTCE_Reso...imb_Injury.pdf

    See my personal webpage @
    http://cccforum55.freehostia.com/

  7. #7
    The schools must be doing a great job talking about disability as I haven't had a child ask me "what's wrong with you" in years! I used to smile and say that my legs don't work, and they appeared satisfied with that. Also, maybe they don't ask anymore as I now have grey hair - they assume it's natural for an oldster to tool around in a wheelchair? Often they are more interested in the cool wheelchair.
    In the recent past I had a parent come up to me with child and ask if it's ok to let child come up close to "see" me. It was really nice....most kids and people just want to stare in an acceptable way, so the mom coming up close was very interesting approach. I always try to give a smile and/or hi to kids who stare.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Susqu's Avatar
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    Also I like to be age appropriate when asked that question.

    For the youngest ones I confess that I'm a mermaid, older kids I tell that I I hurt myself badly and now my legs don't work.

    Don't go beyond your comfort level, but try to give them a simple answer that will satisify their curiosity and short attention span.

  9. #9
    I find that I am a rolling intelligence test. When seeing a baby for the 1st time I notice some won't look twice but some immediately rivet their eyes on my wheels. These are kids not even talking yet or maybe just talking some baby gibberish. The smart tykes quickly identify a difference and start studying me. When they make eye contact in a grocery or other public place I give them a wave and a smile so that they will know gimps are nice like Kermit the Frog.

  10. #10
    I usually tell the smaller ones that ask that God made everyone different and that he just wanted me sitting down and that it would be boring if everyone in the world was the same. For the older kids I actually tell them why i am the way i am. If i catch a child staring i always make a point to speak to them, smile at them, or even talk to them i dont want kids afraid of the wheelchair or affraid of things that are different.

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