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Thread: Explaining SCI to a 3 y/o

  1. #21
    Senior Member Zeus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    I can't add much to all the great advice given already. I agree that I think children of an SCI parent are more likely to grow up with an appreciation of diversity etc. You're all raising some incredible children.

    I had a cute story to share though. I was at my sister's place on Sunday playing with my 4-year-old niece Jennifer. We were discussing Grandma, and I tried explaining to Jennifer that Grandma was my mommy and her mother's mommy. This meant that Jennifer's mommy and I were brother and sister. Jennifer looked at me in disbelief and said "don't be silly, mommy's not in a wheelchair!" Can't fault her logic.

    Have you ever seen a human heart? It looks like a fist wrapped in blood! Larry in 'Closer', a play by Partick Marber

  2. #22
    I don't mind when I see kids staring. I know I'm not the norm and they are just curious as to why that guy is sitting and that thing in his neck.

    I don't have any kids, or a girlfriend, but hope to change that someday. My cousin, who is 9 years younger than I, was always at our house when we were growing up. She never directly asked me why I couldn't move, but it never bothered her. Now she's 15 and into doing social things, but still never minds helping me. Her older brother, five years younger than me, was caught using a wooden spoon once to play with his toy tractors when he was little. He was just doing it like cousin Joel, he plays with a stick in his mouth.
    C2/3 quad since February 20, 1985.

  3. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Covington, Georgia

    My twins were almost 4 when my spinal cord injury happened. I am able to walk with a cane now, but am still unable to do a lot of things. I explained to them about spinal cord injuries...where the spinal cord is, that the brain sends messages to the body parts, but they get stuck in my spinal cord, so my legs can't hear my brain telling them to move, etc., trying to be as simplistic as possible. I had them lay on the bed and held their legs down with my arms and had them try to move their legs to get an idea of what it felt like. As they have gotten older I have explained in more detail about spinal cord injuries. It has been just over 3 years and this is "normal" to them now. They still come up with questions like why I can't be outside when it's hot for too long, etc. - I just little by little tell them more. I don't think my boys realize that most girls don't use "pee pee sticks" to go to the bathroom!

    Whenever I can, I have them around others with spinal cord injuries to show them that I'm not the only one and that different people are affected in different ways, and that people in wheelchairs can still do a lot of things and live normal lives. I also let them know that although I don't have to use my wheelchair right now there may come a time when I will have to go back to using it. We talked quite a bit about Christopher Reeve and also talk about the different ways people can get a spinal cord injury.

    Violet sounds like one smart little girl and is just trying to understand what's going on. It will take a long time before she does fully understand, of course - I'm sure it has even taken us, as adults, a long time to understand what was happening to our own bodies! There is a book I have heard about - Dewey Do It Helps Owl Fly Again - although I have never read it, it may help her. Here is the website ...
    Also, a portion of the proceeds go to The Christopher Reeve Foundation.

    I wonder how they explain spinal cord injuries to small children who have them. Maybe you could talk to a doctor or physical therapist who works with children to get some ideas.

    Just know that Violet will come to see it as normal and will take everything in stride just like my boys have. One good thing that has come out of this is that my boys are very comfortable around people in wheelchairs and some others who have disabilities. Not to mention, they understand at a very early age more about how their bodies work than most adults do!

    Good luck with everything!
    C5-C7 Walking Quad - Very Incomplete
    Aug '03

  4. #24
    Banned adi chicago's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    near dracula castle
    is hard for adults and some doctors to understand what sci means ,a little angel can understand are blessed to have such an angel.
    is hard ,but never give have an angel to rise.
    • Dum spiro, spero.
      • Translation: "As long as I breathe, I hope."

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by lynnifer
    One day a friend gave me a different perspective though .. maybe they wonder why such a good looking gal is in a wheelchair, just maybe they're admiring you.
    It's easy to tell the difference between the ones who are checking out the cute chick and the ones that are staring at you like you're a bug on a slide. Just stick your tongue out at the latter. I've found that is quite effective in shocking people into recognizing your humanity.


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