? For parents of special needs kids

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-15-2005
? For parents of special needs kids
Wed, 09-27-2006 - 8:56pm

My daughter who is 4 years old has just started going to a preschool that is inclusive. She has 3 special needs kids in her class. My question is: what can I say to a 4 year old when she asks questions about these children and why they are the way they are? She already made a comment to me the other day like "David is mean-he pushed me today" (he has downs) I just told her David doesn't understand... I don't want to say anything negative about these children and I want her to understand my explanations- any thoughts? I unfortunately was never around anyone special needs so I need some education on the subject.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 09-28-2006 - 11:53pm

What I did was just explained that everyone is different and learns different. Everyone has things that they are good at and things they need help with. Some of the children in her class may need more help with some things than she does. For instance, David needs alot of help learning how to behave appropriately. He doesn't mean to be mean, but he is still learning how to play with kids. Then I also focus on what are some things that David does that are really good.

Help her to notice his strengths and the stengths of everyone around. Having your child in an inclusion preschool really is a wonderful gift to her. You are teaching her a level of humanity and compassion that is priceless. At this early age when children are exposed to other children with special needs they are still children first. The young child doesn't see the "downs" or the other disability. She sees David. What a wonderful thing. And through this exposure hopefully she will always see "David" first and not "downs syndrome" first.

It is ok to tell her he learns differently, but definitely help her to see his strengths and humanity.

Then perhaps you can give her some idea for how to play more successfully with David. Perhaps you can even ask the teachers what are some tips to give your wonderful little gal for playing with him to make thier time more successful.

Thanks for asking. What a great mom you are!