REAL LIFE

Mom Made A Desperate Plea After Her Special Needs Son Was Reduced To Tears By Other Kids At Church

Date August 10, 2018 18:59

Mom’s heartbreaking plea

One day, Stacey Gagnon, a proud mom of six from Arizona, went to a new church. She took her son Joel with her, thinking they would have a good time there. Joel is a special boy: he was born with a craniofacial condition.

When they came to the church, they went to the area designated for kids. What happened there left Stacey and her son heartbroken.

READ ALSO: Teacher Adopts A 13-Year-Old Student With Developmental Disability: “We Were Meant To Be Together”

When they entered the room, the kids there went silent and stared at Joel, pointing their fingers at him. Joel was embarrassed and retreated to the back of the room. He hid his face and started crying silently.

Stacey’s initial intention was to educate children about their peers with differences. But when she saw how hurt her son was, it was more than she could bear. She took Joel, and they promptly left.

Later, the woman wrote a heartbreaking Facebook post about their experience and urged other parents to educate their kids about disabilities.

Stacey’s post has been shared almost 50,000 times, and people wrote thousands of supportive comments. Here are some of them:

Stacey hopes her words can help other parents teach their kids about acceptance and compassion.

READ ALSO: Single 'Super Dad' Is Inspiring Parents Worldwide After Adopting 4 Children With Special Needs

How to talk to your child about other kids’ differences

Young children are curious, and that’s normal. When they see someone who doesn’t look like them, it’s only natural that they can act with surprise and start to ask questions.

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Katy Epling, whose son has Down syndrome, wrote an excellent piece for ScaryMommy, in which she shared some tips for teaching children why some of their peers look different. Here are key takeaways:

1. Teach your child that kids with special needs look different, and that’s OK. Explain to your kid that a child may have a different appearance, but inside, he or she is like other kids.

2. Children with differences don’t want to be pitied. They are used to being just the way they are, and they want others to accept that.

3. Mind your language. Replace “normal” with “typical”, and don’t use words like “sick” and “wrong” to refer to special kids.

4. If your child asks questions that you can’t answer, you can approach the parent of a child with special needs and politely ask him or her to help with explanation.

5. Teach by example. If you treat kids and adult with special needs in a respectful and polite manner, your child will see it and learn from it. Acknowledge the differences, but talk to people with special needs as you would talk to other people.

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This may not seem like much, but it can go a long way in teaching your child about kindness and acceptance.

READ ALSO: Boy With A Rare Genetic Condition Was Called A 'Monster' By Peers, But He Ignores Bullies And Lives Happily

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