“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” This old English Nursery Rhyme isn’t really true, because name calling and words can hurt and sting for a lifetime.

Has your child been made fun of or been bullied because they are different.  Names like stupid, slow, retarded, idiot, and “simpled minded” are examples of words that are cruel and hard for a child to overcome. Children living with disabilities, whether learning, intellectual, social, emotional or physical disabilities may have experienced this form of bullying and for some the scars can last a lifetime.

Susan Boyle Shares Her Experience

A great example of a child who experienced the sting of such words is Susan Boyle. Susan Boyle, best known for astounding millions when she sang, “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Misérables on Britain’s Got Talent in 2009, was recently diagnosed with Asberger’s Syndrome. In an article from The Observer, Susan shares how being called “Susie Simple ” growing up is still with her today but because of her diagnosis of Asbergers, she is now relieved to know why she was different than her classmates. She credits the love and support of her Mother for where she is today.

What Is Needed? … Support

So how do we support a child with a disability? Craig Gibson in his article, “Overcoming the Stigma of the Learning Disability Label: A Story of Survival and Recovery” writes about his experience and shares his advice: “Believe in your child and advocate for the best educational program possible”.

As parents and educators, we can create an environment where disabilities do not define who a child is. Understanding through knowledge helps us to know how to support, educate and love a child with a disability. “The direction in which an education starts, a man will determine his future life.” – Plato

Support for a child with a disability needs to start in their community. Educating the community about the unique differences in children and adults with disabilities helps to create support and teaches compassion instead of rejection and bullying.

We will be dedicating the whole month of January to write on the topic of “Bullying”, so be sure to subscribe “for free” to our blog to receive the latest information on topics relating to children with disabilities.