How I’m Creating Conversations About Disabilities With my Kids

With my kids out of school this school year, I’m not missing any opportunities to give them diverse life experiences that they’re missing out on by being in a classroom. One thing that’s always top of mind for me is how I can get my kids to learn about disabilities. So many people are differently abled, and when I see a teachable moment I try to grasp it. Oftentimes, there is no appropriate way to share with my kids when we are out and about and witness someone in a wheelchair, not to mention there are many things that make people unique that we can’t see.

As a mother, it’s so important to me that my kids be curious about other people, and to normalize asking questions about things they don’t understand. If we can do this with kindness, and teach our children to celebrate other peoples’ differences, the world will be more inclusive and a better place.

When I heard my friend Stephanie was releasing a book about this very topic, I squealed. She has been a dear friend for years and I’ve been following her Instagram and blog since her beautiful daughter, Addie was born. I remember her sharing her heart when she learned that her daughter would be born with some challenges. I have watched her handle every hurdle with grace over the years, and she has become a fantastic role model for me in mothering and faith in the face of adversity. I am so glad she wrote the book Authentically Addie and made it for kids. I had always hoped she would write a book for adults, and maybe that is down the pipeline (??) but in the meantime I’ve loved opening the door to sharing these conversations about inclusion with my kids.

The illustrator, Noor Alshalabi, did an absolutely beautiful job on the artwork. The author, Stephanie Wolfe, takes us on an adventure through a zoo where we meet many friends whose characteristics set them apart. My kids were especially interested in vitiligo (“Mom, her skin is SO beautiful!”) and being part of the “zipper club.” I won’t ruin the surprises because there are so many interesting zoo animals to meet along the way, each with a special little dose of knowledge to share with us.

I’m going to be buying Authentically Addie for all of my friends with kids! We have so enjoyed this book. If you are looking to share this sort of message with the kids in your life, I can think of no better way to spend $16.

Check out Authentically Addie on Amazon by clicking here.

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