Learning About Disabilities Through Literature

A few months ago, we posted about a few fiction favorites for children with disabilities. This list of books included stories about children with disabilities that kids of all ages, with or without disabilities, could look up to, and even relate with.

Those books are meant to inspire young children that they too can do anything they can put their minds to. In essence, giving them something to aspire for.

But, there’s another side to the story. Young children, especially those that don’t have a wide range of social interaction outside of their families or close friends, may not meet someone with a disability until they’re school-aged.

And, if they do, they may not understand why that person is in a wheelchair or uses a handicap van. So, how exactly should parents teach young children about disabilities prior to them ever meeting someone with a disability?

The answer is through literature.

Sights at the Zoo

Debbie Estrem, an author originally from Minnesota that now lives in Colorado, with a disability herself (MS) saw the need for books about understanding, and is trying to fill that gap.

Her book for kids, written for infant through first time readers Sights at the Zoo, helps explain to young children why some people need assistance from walkers, canes and wheelchairs to get around.

Additionally, it’s written based on poems, making it very easy for early readers to not only learn about disabilities, but learn to read, as well.

Sights at the Zoo was not her first book released. Her first children’s book, Have You Ever Seen a Firefly?, debuted in March of 2013. The book aims to teach children to never stop dreaming and that they can experience many great things in life.

Both books are located in the Rollx Vans lobby for our visitors to read and enjoy. They can also be purchased through Facebook or Amazon (search the book titles).

What do you think of learning opportunities through literature? What other books help fill the gap and teach young children about disabilities? Comment below to join the conversation!

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