Dr. Carolyn Bridgemohan Children's Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School
"Changing trends in education toward fully inclusive classrooms present pressing opportunities to teach children to accept and understand classmates who have different abilities and challenges. The authors present a brief scenario and then explain the challenges and disabilities with medical and behavioral explanations, including charts, photographs, illustrations, and diagrams."
"Children will enjoy reading this interesting book because it will help them to understand more about children with learning disabilities and possibly show them ways to help a friend with Learning Disabilities." "Written in kid-friendly language, this information will help students gain a more thorough understanding of how a brain injury may impact a classmate." Review
Kids with speech impairment sometimes find the world to be a very frustrating place. They can hear and see and understand what's going on around them, but it can be very difficult for them to communicate with other people. Depending on the type of speech impairment, they might have trouble saying certain sounds or the words might get stuck in their throat when they try to talk, or when they try to say a word a different word might come out instead. For kids with speech impairments, there are various treatments and therapies to help them speak more easily. For those who know someone with a speech impairment, learning why he has trouble speaking can help them better understand what he is going through.
Kids with physical challenges have some kind of difficulty using their bodies that might make it harder to do things like get around or use their hands to write or draw. Sometimes, the physical challenge is something a person is born with and sometimes it's something that happens later. Some people with physical challenges use wheelchairs, some use crutches, and some have an artificial limb. There are many different types of physical challenges and different ways to deal with each type. But all kids with physical challenges are still kids, living their lives and having friends, interests, and their own likes and dislikes.
Kids who are deaf or hard of hearing might not be able hear what's going on around them, but their eyes give them a lot of information about the world. Some people who are deaf or hard of hearing might wear hearing aids or have surgery to help their ears hear better, while others rely even more on their eyes for help. People who can't hear can understand a lot by watching people's actions and looking at the expressions on their faces. They might also be able to lip-read or they might use sign language to communicate. Being deaf or hard of hearing doesn't mean life is any less exciting and interesting!
Kids with intellectual disabilities too often have to put up with teasing and name-calling. Some people don't know how to talk to or interact with people whose brains work differently than their own. Kids with intellectual disabilities might have trouble remembering things or understanding how things work, but there are a lot of things they do understand. Things like friendship, love, and laughter are important to everyone, and that includes kids with intellectual disabilities.
People who can see with their eyes find it hard to imagine what life must be like for those with blindness or visual impairment. For thousands of kids, though, this is a reality. While some are born with blindness or some type of visual impairment, others lose their sight later on because of a disease, infection, or injury. For kids with blindness or visual impairment, life presents a unique set of challenges. Overcoming these challenges is easier with the help of adaptive technologies, but also with the understanding of friends and family who know that just because a kid is dealing with blindness or visual impairment doesn't mean he isn't still a regular kid.
Kids just want to be kids. They want to spend time with their friends and enjoy life. When a kid has a chronic illness, though, it can be a lot more difficult to do those things. Depending on which illness a person has, she might feel too tired to play or be in too much pain to be able to have a good time. With an illness like epilepsy, a person might feel fine most of the time but still have to restrict his life because of the illness. Even when their illness gets in the way of the things they want to do, though, kids with chronic illness are still kids, and they will find ways to enjoy life however they can.
Emotions can be tricky things. Sometimes, a person has lots of negative emotions, and he doesn't know what to do with them. Kids with emotional disturbance often don't know how to deal with the overwhelming emotions they experience, and sometimes they react in inappropriate ways, disrupting their own lives and the lives of people around them. This can be scary for both the person dealing with emotional disturbance and for the other people. For all the people in the situation, understanding what is going on is important.
For kids with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, things like sitting still, paying attention, or focusing on homework can be huge challenges. Sometimes, people think kids with this disorder are "bad" or lazy and think they should just try harder. But, of course, it isn't that simple. Kids with ADHD aren't bad or lazy, they just have an extra challenge to overcome, and with help, that challenge can be overcome. Having attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder isn't the end of the world, and kids with ADHD can still succeed in their lives, have fun with friends, and enjoy the world around them.
Autism is something a lot of people talk about these days. Many kids with autism have trouble communicating and understanding how people relate to each other. Since autism is a spectrum disorder, however, some kids who have autism might only have a few symptoms, while others may have many symptoms. Some people don't know how to act around kids who have autism, but, even though these children might seem a little different than most people, these kids are still kids.
Our brains are the control centers of our bodies, so it's not surprising that when they get hurt, many different parts of our bodies can be affected. Traumatic brain injury might happen when someone hits her head or when the brain doesn't get enough oxygen. Kids with traumatic brain injury might have trouble remembering things or moving their muscles as easily as they did before their injury, and this can be very frustrating and scary. Their friends and families often find it scary as well, because it sometimes seems like the person they knew has changed so much she isn't the same person anymore. But even though she has changed in a lot of ways, she can still use understanding and friendship from the people around her.
For kids with learning disabilities, school can sometimes be a very frustrating place. There are many different types of learning disabilities, but they all make it difficult for a person to learn. Kids with learning disabilities sometimes think they must not be very smart, but this isn't true at all. A learning disability might make it a lot harder for someone to read or do math, but that has nothing to do with how intelligent he is. Understanding the causes and effects of a learning disability, as well as ways to overcome it, are important for kids dealing with these types of disabilities--and it is also important for people who know someone dealing with them.
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