There are all different kinds of disabilities, and it can be hard to know how to act around someone who is disabled. Ruby went to visit a Junior school in Surrey to get their opinion on what being disabled means and how you should act around someone who’s got a disability.
More than half a million children under the age of 16 have a disability in the UK.
Many schools have children with disabilities and there’s a lot of debate about the best ways to help disabled children learn.
At their local school
Children with a disability may have a helper with them in lessons and sometimes get taken out of class for separate teaching.
The government have put rules in place to help protect disabled children in local schools.
The law says that teachers are not allowed to stop them from doing certain things, just because of their disability.
For example, they cannot stop a child in a wheelchair from having playtime just because they may need more help moving about.
Teachers cannot tell a child off if they have difficulty concentrating or writing because of their disability, but instead should give them extra help.
In special schools
Some disabled children need more help than local schools can give, so go to a special school where the teachers have more time to spend helping them.
A few special schools let their students board which means they live there most of the time and only come home in the holidays.
For some disabled children, special schools are the best thing for them.
Everyone has the right to choose what school is best for them, whether special or local, without being asked why or stopped from going to the school they want to go to.
However, if a local school can prove a child will affect the learning of others in the class, they can be stopped from going to that school.
A couple of years ago the debate re-opened because the Prime Minister, David Cameron, said all children with disabilities should be able to go to a special school if they want to.
This means many more may be separated from you and the other children at your local school. To hear what children at a junior school in Surrey think being disabled means, please click here.
If you don’t have a disability it can be hard to know how to act around someone who does – we’ve answered some of your questions.
1) What is a disability?
Someone with a disability may think, act or look differently to you and they may be slower at learning. Having a disability means you may need some extra help in a certain aspect of your life whether it’s help with school work, moving around or emotional support. To hear what children at a junior school in Surrey think being disabled means, please click here.
2) Are all disabilities the same?
There are many different types of disability, but they tend to fall under two categories: physical and intellectual. Intellectual is also known as having a ‘learning difficulty’.
If someone has a physical disability they are likely to look or act differently to you. They may need help moving around, some might even be in a wheelchair.
If someone is intellectually disabled they can find learning difficult. If you see them walking down the street, you may not be able to tell that they have a disability because they don’t look different but can find school work very hard.
3) How should I treat someone with a disability?
It’s important to remember that although people with a disability may look, act or think differently, they still have feelings like you, so they should be treated the same way you would treat anyone else. To read what sporting star, Ade Adepitan, has to say about how to treat someone with a disability, please click here.
4) Someone in my class has a disability and is being bullied what should I do?
Bullying is not a nice thing to happen to anyone. It can make you feel sad and uncomfortable. If you know someone who’s being bullied, you should talk to them about how they are feeling. You should encourage them to tell someone older, and someone they feel they can trust like a parent, older brother, sister or teacher. For more advice on what to do about bullying please click here.
5) My friends make fun of me because my brother’s in a wheelchair and can’t talk properly, it’s making me feel unhappy at school and embarrassed, what should I do?
You shouldn’t be embarrassed by your brother. He can’t help having a disability. Please click here for more advice on what to do if you’re being bullied.
6) My friend has a disability, but I’ve never known someone with a disability before so I don’t know how to act around her.
Talk to your friend and ask how you can help make things easier for her. Invite her to join you and your other friends at playtime so that she feels more included.
To read how charities can help disabled children and their families, please click here.
- 2 years ago
Sport can play an important part in our lives because it improves our ability to move, communicate with others and helps make us feel good about ourselves.
Kitty became paralysed when she was 7-years-old which means she can’t move her legs and uses a wheelchair to get around.
She loves playing wheelchair basketball and is looking forward to watching the Paralympics in London later this year. To see what Paralympics sports star Ade Adepitan has to say about living with a disability, please click here.
The Special Olympics teaches sport to disabled people and they have lessons all over the world. They want to raise awareness about including and respecting disabled people in the community.
- 2 years ago
The KIDS charity helps make the lives of disabled children better.
They organise fun events, play games and teach them about their right to be treated well in the community.
Louisa Jennings, works for the charity and said: “I decided to work for KIDS as the inclusion of children and young disabled people is as important to me as it is the charity.”
Louisa enjoyed working on a family fun day event that she helped to organise last year.
They played games and gave out prizes.
She said the event gave “children and young disabled people and their families a rare chance to come together.”
The charity encourage disabled children to realise they can achieve their hopes and dreams just like everyone else.
The KIDS charity also helps the families of disabled children.
Children with disabilities often need a lot of care and attention which can be difficult for their mums, dads, brothers and sisters.
The charity helps by talking to the families of disabled children and telling them about advice groups they can join.
They also run fun activities for the brothers and sisters of disabled children to do together.
For more information on the KIDS charity, please visit their website by clicking here.