Explaining to your child what a disability is can be quite challenging. It is a sensitive topic, you need to choose your words wisely and create an open dialogue with your child so they feel free to ask you anything. What you say in this conversation directly influences how your child will perceive others with disabilities. Here are seven things to keep in mind when you talk to your child about people with disabilities:
Children with disabilities are like all children, they have feelings they want friends, respect and to be included.
Life can be tough and everyone is trying to find themselves, especially children. They are easily impressionable and often wear their hearts on their sleeves. Words and actions can hurt, all children have the same wants to be included and respected. Teach your children to include all children including children with disabilities in conversation and games, they are no different than typical children and deserve not to be left out due to a disability.
Children can be born disabled or become disabled from illnesses or an accident. You cannot catch a disability.
A person does not choose to be disabled something had happened that is out of their control.
Just because someone has a physical disability does not mean they also have a cognitive (thinking) disability.
There many many different types of disabilities each affecting the body in different ways. Some may just be physical meaning they bodies may have problems when moving, others can affect their brain making speaking, school work and thinking difficult for them and some disabilities can be a combination of both. Children with disabilities can do most of the things other children do, it may take more assistance and more time. Be patient and help them!
Children with special needs are different and that’s not a bad thing.
Everybody is unique it is what makes us all so special in our own ways. If everyone was the same life would be pretty boring!
It’s okay to ask questions about disabilities. Knowledge is power!
Learning about different disabilities can help a child understand a personal situation better. Knowing how a disability can affect someone can allow you to help them more and be more empathic about situations.
Choose your words wisely When talking to your child choose your words wisely. The way to describe children with disabilities will influence the words your child uses to also describe disabilities. Make sure they are accurate and sensitive. Teaching them the correct words like special needs, disabilities, or even the names of specific disabilities like autism and down syndrome.
Be a friend. The best thing you can be is a friend.
What is the best way to learn? By looking and listening to the world around you! This fun educational song focuses on the importance of keeping an open mind and looking at the big picture! Look around in all seven directions to see the world from all perspectives to see the big picture.
Talk to others and engage in discussions, everyone views things differently! That doesn’t mean that your wrong or they’re wrong, every observation is slightly different and we can learn from all views.
The song makes reference to two short stories about how only seeing one point of view makes you miss the big picture and the dangers of being ignorant. An old parable from India The Blind men and the Elephant and an ancient fable from China The Frog of The Well (stories below) feature characters that only have one point of view and refuse to believe or listen to others.
“Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t” – Bill Nye
We believe this is a very important lesson to teach a child because so often as adults we miss the big picture and assume our views are always right. We need to have an open mind, hear others perspectives, learn to be present in order to see the big picture!
Look! To the right! To the left! Look to the front! Look to the back!
Look up! Look down! and look inward! In all 7 directions.
And then listen and you will learn.
About your situation and about yourself!
And you’ll become smart! And you’ll become wise!
In time, you will be able to hear what you see, and see what you hear.
Blind people can’t see but they can look all around them,
And then listen and learn!
It’s very important to see the whole scene,
The big picture!
You can get it very wrong if all you see is a small part.
Like the frog sitting at the bottom of a dry well looking up to the sky.
Like the blind man feeling the limb of an elephant.
Is it a tree?
Or stroking the tail of the elephant.
Is it a broom?
Look! Listen! And Learn!
And you’ll become smart! And you’ll become wise!
We can Look, Listen and Learn! Even when we may not be able to see.
Once a turtle lost its way in the ocean and found himself in a tiny well.
Inside the well, the turtle found a frog and they started talking.
The turtle asked, “Have you ever seen an ocean? Do you know how big it is?”
The frog said, “No. How big is it?”
“It’s very, very big”, the turtle replied.
The frog stretches its arms wide and asks, “This big?”
“No, bigger than this.”
The frog stretches its arms wider and asks, “This big?”
“No no, a lot bigger than this”
“Then it must be from there,” the frog said while pointing to one wall of the well, “to there”, pointing to the opposite wall. “After all, this is how big the world is.”
The turtle said, “No, the ocean is a lot bigger than this.”
“You’re lying. How can anything be bigger than this? This is the whole world after all.”
Neither the turtle nor frog is lying. It’s just that the frog is too narrow-minded to believe that there may be a bigger picture than what he sees and thinks.
The Frog of the Well ~ Zhuāng Zǐ
The Blind Men and the Elephant ~ John Godfrey Saxe
It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.
The First approached the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
“God bless me!—but the Elephant
Is very like a wall!”
The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried: “Ho!—what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me ‘t is mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!”
The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a snake!”
The Fourth reached out his eager hand,
And felt about the knee.
“What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain,” quoth he;
“‘T is clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree!”
The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: “E’en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!”
The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Than, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a rope!”
And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!
So, oft in theologic wars
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!
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What is W5Go?
W5Go is a project for social edification created by Ecocarrier. W5Go aims to encompass as many of the United Nations Sustainable Development goals as possible with every episode we release. Our goal is to create a large collection of immersive educational applications that are available to everyone.
Throughout the applications, we aim to help children learn English, by teaching 20+ words in every application. The best way to learn a language is through immersion, we introduce English through voice-over, graphics and text. All of our applications are free to download, free from advertisements, no internet required and do not have any in-app purchases.
We have recently launched a youtube channel full of wonderful educational songs that your child will love!
All of our episodes are created for children aged 4-12. With bright colourful and graphics, we want children to learn English and simples concepts such as proper hygiene, through a fun interactive environment. We want to encourage children to use their imagination, explore and have fun while learning!
We believe that any topic can be taught to a child, by simply breaking it down into the five W’s (Who, What, Where, When and Why). We want to encourage children to always ask the five W’s. When they question how things work and ask “why not” or “what if” they are constantly learning and embracing creativity. In all of our episodes, we go through the five W’s and let the child guess what the answers could be before explaining.
Why AR/ VR Technology?
W5Go focuses on creating virtual environments for children to learn, explore and use their imagination in the safety of their own home. With so many advancements in technology is it important for children to have an even balance of traditional learning and new mobile learning.
Our applications are VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality) enabled. Since this technology is becoming such a large part of everyday life, experiencing this technology from a young age is very beneficial, and our applications are meant to complement a child’s traditional education.
What advantages does W5GO™ offer?
Resourcefulness – it is a properly researched selection of essential information on important topics for the upbringing of a child
Availability – the information and learning materials are readily available to the child on demand with the use of a Smartphone
Evolution – W5Go Project subscribes to the Wiki notion for collaborative development. Teachers and specialists in child education are invited to give us feedback and to contribute to the development of W5Go Project.
Currently, we have 14 applications available across several platforms. All are free to download, free from advertisements, no internet required and have no in-app purchases. Our vision is to create 100 episodes “Chapters” of W5Go so that children everywhere have the chance to learn English and experience AR/VR technology.
Imagination: What is imagination? Explore what inventions have been created by a spark of imagination! Ignite your imagination by asking What if? and Why Not?
Forest: Venture through a virtual forest where you will learn about; seasons, sounds, animals, colours, photosynthesis, and hemispheres.
Greetings: Explore the world in VR/AR. Learn basic formal and informal greetings from around the world, time of day greetings and experience other cultures.
Books & Reading: There are many different kinds of books, learn the different genres of books, basic spelling and go on a choose your own storybook adventure.
Music: What makes music? Learn about instruments, notes and where music can come from.
Colour: Learn about the primary colours, the colours of the rainbow, what colours are used for, how light makes colour and when we want to be colourful.
Time: This episode you will learn how to tell time, what we use the time for and the general concept of time.
Digits: Learn digits from 1-10 and multiples of 10-100.
Applus: Interactive math game. Gather the apples to reach the targeted number.
AR Dollhouse: Stylize your own AR Dollhouse. Learn basic organizational skills, where to place objects within a house.
Water: Learn what makes water (H2O), where we find water, who uses water and the importance of water.
Addition & Subtraction: Basic addition and subtraction with numbers 1-10. Uses fun interactive examples such as cupcakes as visual aids to help see the addition and subtraction.
Noise: Discover what noise is and how your ears are affected by it.
Dialogue: What is dialogue? This episode features a conversation with grandparents who will teach them about the importance of hygiene.
Have suggestions on how we can improve our apps or ideas for future episodes?
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Or follow us on social media to stay up to date with our latest episodes!
Fire up your imagination with this fun inspiriting song that teaches the 5 W’s. and the importance of asking questions, pushing boundaries with What if? and Why not?
Venture into virtual forests, discovering what creates a forest, who lives in a forest, the sounds of a forest and the basics of photosynthesis. Identify seasons, trees and plants. Follow footprints to find out who makes them and what sounds they make.
Learning about culture and diversity is very important in this rapidly growing world. Teaching your child with friendly greetings in other languages will give them the knowledge of how to welcome others from different cultures.
Books & Reading
Explore the Who, What, Where, When and Why’s of reading! In this interactive mobile app, your child will learn all about all the different kinds of books and reading materials available
Learn about Water, its sources and states, the importance of Water and even about its chemical formula i.e. H2O. Regular intake of Water, Causes of Dehydration, and Results of Extreme Dehydration.
Interactive AR/VR app that focuses on the 5W’s of music and how we make music. Have fun and make your own songs with instruments in AR.
Become familiar with furniture/household items and their correct placements within the Dollhouse. Place household goods/furniture correctly, e.g. “Stove” has to be placed within the kitchen, “Bed” has to be placed in the bedroom and so on.
A simple addition and subtraction game for children. Look at the equation in the top left corner and collect the apple with the correct value on it to complete the equation.
Count along and learn numbers 1-100, focusing on mainly 1-10. Learn many different ways we can count, on our fingers, a talley, and with animals. Find out where and when we use numbers!
Sound, Noise, and Hearing is designed for Preschoolers and Kindergarteners and
explains them about Noise, Sound, Hearing, and Listening. It describes them
about the Healthy Hearing, Importance, and Need of Good Hearing, about
Hearing the Sound, Unpleasant and Pleasant Sounds.
Explore the 5W’s of time! Who uses time?What is time? Where do we use time? When do we keep time? Why do we use time?
“Dialogues for Children” is a Wonderful App for Preschoolers and Kindergartners, based on Interesting Conversations between, Grandpa, Grandma to their Grandson, Granddaughter – explaining them about the following important topics:
1. Knowledge and Experience. 2. Hygiene and Cleanliness 3. Smile.
Addition & Subtraction
Addition and Subtraction is a fun interactive app that introduces children basic addition and subtraction, focusing mainly on numbers 0-10. Learning is always fun when cupcakes and puppies are involved. Count the animals in various photos, and cupcakes on the tray. Share and divide the cupcakes with your W5Go friends!
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.” ~ Dr. Seuss
Jumping into a good book is like taking your mind on an amazing expedition. Through reading and writing, anything is possible. Creating worlds with talking animals, alternate universes, aliens and more!
Unfortunately, not everyone has a natural taste for reading. Depending on a child’s learning style, reading and writing may feel more like a chore. As a parent, it is your job to convince them reading is fun! This may be difficult, but there are many ways to encourage a child to love reading.
How can we ignite a child’s passion for reading?
Read the Right Book
Choose or let your child pick a book that they can relate too. If they play sports, love camping or dancing, for example, find a book that encompasses those topics.
Books are more enjoyable to read when you’re interested in the topic and want to know more.
Choose a book that is on your child’s reading level. Sometimes reading can be overwhelming when you don’t understand the words or is too long for them. A simple way to tell if a book is on your child’s reading level is by using the five finger rule. Read the first page, and have your child hold up a finger for every word they don’t know. If they don’t understand five or more words, they may not be ready to read that book yet. That is okay! Everyone learns at his or her own pace and overbook they read improves their reading level!
Read a variety of material – stories, poems, information books, newspaper articles and comics for your child. Show them all the forms literature comes in. Maybe they would prefer to read short stories and poems instead of chapter books?
Create a Reading Space
Finding a quiet place to sit down and read a book is a great start a habit of settling down and focusing on reading. Create a calm and inviting environment where your child feels completely comfortable spending time with their favourite characters, and getting lost in a beautiful story. This should be a place where their imagination can run wild.
Lead by example! Make time for yourself to read a book as well. Go to your reading place and read your books silently together. This is also a great way for family bonding time.
My little bookcase has a wonderful list of reading space ideas here.
Bring the Book to Life
Try and plan ahead if the book is spooky and Halloween related, dress up in costume and read it by flashlight. If it about going to the beach, read it at the beach! By doing this, you’re bringing another element to the story. Visual and kinesthetic learners really connect when they feel physically involved.
When reading a story with dialogue change voices or share the reading by assigning a character to each reader.
Ask questions about what they are reading! How do they feel about the characters? What do you think will happen next? Can they relate to the characters? As your child becomes more familiar with books and reading, ask questions about the structure. Who is the protagonist? When you ask questions and discuss what they are reading it makes them think and question what they just read helping their reading comprehension.
Many books now have apps and videos you can watch and play along with. For an introduction to book and reading, W5Go’s app on books and reading explains the many kinds of books and reading material available and when we use each one.
Set a day once or twice a month where you go to the library to discover a new book. Make a date of it, grab a hot cocoa and settle in for some family bonding time! Also, many libraries offer programs for kids or reading clubs your child can join!
Bringing a child to a library promotes being social and creates a sense of community. They can see a world of different books, and meet new people that also enjoy reading. The library community helps a child feel more comfortable with talking about what they are reading, their thoughts and feelings about a book. Joining book clubs is a great way for children to discuss and learn about how everyone views things differently. We learn more by discussing and talking about what we’ve seen or read.
Make it A Challenge
Some children are really motivated by challenges and find it really fun to complete a task. So make a game out of it! How many books can they read over the summer?
Maybe offer a prize like ice cream for finishing a book.
Make a chart counting the books they’ve read. According to SMART goals, people are more likely to achieve a goal, such as finishing a book, if they can physically see and track their progress. You can start off small such as a chapter every two weeks. By making it a challenge, a child can practice planning and setting goals to achieve them. It instills a habit of making time to read and set aside time to accomplish a goal.
Often libraries will release summer book series challenges, and there are plenty online to choose from. My KidsTime has a great list of summer books and challenges for kids here.
While reading the book take time to draw, paint, act or model scenes they’ve read. This helps children comprehend what they have read, and be able to retell the story to others. Use voices while reading aloud to make the book more interesting. Have your child create a voice and read along pretending to be the character.
Try and find books that have movie adaptions or plays made about them. Read the book and reward it with a trip to the theatre and watch the show together. Make a family date of it, grab a treat after and discuss how the show compared to the book.
Come together with fellow parents and create a book club with your children. When they finish a book together throw a themed party for the kids to talk about the story. If they have a birthday coming up have it themed around their favourite book. Have fun with it! Make costumes or crafts, bake food mentioned in the stories.
Break the Rules!
Some rules are meant to be broken. Allow them to stay up a bit later to finish that chapter in a book. Read to them even if they can read on their own. Hearing others read helps with pronunciation. Let them move around while you read. For kinesthetic learners, this may help them listen and understand what the story is about.
Reading yields so many benefits for a growing mind, encouraging a child to read is like giving them the keys to the city. So go ahead give them the key and open the doors to possibilities!
Books and Reading
W5Go’s Books and Reading app is an easy, fun way to introduce your child to the wonders of reading! Enjoy an exciting adventure in augmented & virtual reality, exploring the W5Go secret library, learning the who, what, where, when and why’s of books!