Updated: Jun 23
YoutTube Video Transcript
How do I tell other kids about my kid’s disability? Why don’t you grab your cup of coffee and let’s discuss.
Now, there are some parents and some schools that feel it’s best not to share your kid’s disability. But I know it only takes a few seconds for other people to figure out that something’s different with Knightly, even kids. And, without explanation, they can come up with answers on their own. How do I tell other kids about my kid’s disability?
What I found is powerful.
I need to give a special thank you to the awesome team at the Down Syndrome Foundation of Orange County (DSFOC): The Learning Program. These families created these booklets that they passed out 10-15 years ago to their kid’s classmates and it totally worked. So I copied, pasted, edited for what was needed for Knightly and VOILA!
This is meant to be a book for kids to read with their parents.
Commonality is powerful.
In every page, I am looking for images and stories and just phrases to show a way that kids can connect with Knightly. Not only does it help the kids be able to feel they can connect with someone like Knightly, but it also helps the parents kind of navigate the questions their kids may ask through the school year as they interact with him. I include a letter to parents and educators that I put inside the booklet to explain why I’m giving it to them and, below in the video description, I will have a link so you can download the letter yourself if you’d love to use and customize it for people you’ll be handing it to. It includes our contact info so that parents can always call or email if they have any questions.
All right, it’s story time!
Hi, my name is Knightly. I am 7 years old. How old are you? What grade are you in?
I live with my family. We like to travel, go to Disneyland, and eat good food together. What do you like to do with your family?
My favorite things to do are dancing, being around water, and playing with balls. You can ask me to play these with you if you see me. Most of all, I love to play my service dog, Cadbury. He is a good dog and helps me feel better when I’m scared. I also love high-fives and saying, “Hi.”
You may notice that I get help from some people throughout my school day. I need extra help in the classroom sometimes. Do you need extra help sometimes? Who helps you?
When I was born I was diagnosed with Down syndrome. Do you know what that means?
My muscles are not quite as strong as yours. I need extra time to get to places and complete work in class. Kids like me can learn to do all the same things you do but I learn some things differently.
I just need to go at my own pace.
Sometimes, I need extra time to think of an answer. It can be hard to write so sometimes I use pictures or an AAC.
People may help me with these things in class.
I get to wear some cool things to help me out. I wear special inserts in my shoes that help me walk better. Sometimes I wore my chewelry necklace and I’ll chew on it to help my teeth feel better. My eyeglasses I chose are blue. Blue is my favorite color. What’s your favorite color?
If you ever see me covering my ears with my hands, it’s because some noises are scary for me. I may need to slowly warm up to the noises or I may need to take a break. Do you ever get scared?
I also have apraxia. What is apraxia? It makes it harder for me to speak and to learn to say sounds and words. I work extra hard every day to learn how to talk. I may take a while to respond when you talk to me. It helps if you ask me yes or no questions. I may also answer with my AAC device, sign language, or a picture.
Sometimes, I’m just shy. But I love making friends. Do you?
I hope you have learned something about me, about Down syndrome, apraxia, and people being more alike than different. Thank you for reading this book.
Even though I may learn things differently, I am always learning new things, just like you. I hope we’ll get to know each other and become friends.
HOW TO PRINT:
Please know you do not have to go all out and create like a booklet like this. You can make it a PDF, a PowerPoint, go to a local printer and get it done. We got ours printed through this awesome company Printworks and this manager named John, who’s super sweet. And I’m going to go ahead and put his link down below in the video description. This actually costs us $2.35/booklet.
The quality looks like a legit magazine if you want to do that. If you don’t, way cheaper to just go to Kinko’s or just print it out on your own printer and computer.
Not every school is gonna let you pass this out. We have been able to hand it out directly to parents after school when the kids are leaving and they get picked up. It’s a great way to say, “Hi, my name is ___. This is my kid. Wanted to share a little booklet in case your kid has any questions because my kid has a disability.”
Sometimes, the best opportunity to share is when the class has