International Day of Persons with Disabilities & Children

medium_8740381224According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), “More than one billion people around the world, of whom nearly 93 million are children, live with some form of disability.”  Thankfully, I’m the parent of a healthy little girl, but there are many parents and guardians charged with raising and protecting children with what are considered disabilities. Here are some other facts to consider:

  • In the US, roughly 4.6 million people are identified as having an intellectual disability (previously known as mental retardation). [via Do Something]
  • Currently 2.4 million students are diagnosed with learning disabilities and receive special education services in our schools, representing 41% of all students receiving special education. [via National Center for Learning Disabilities]
  • In the US, about 74.6 million people have some type of physical disability. [via Do Something]

The Pacer National Bullying Prevention Center offers a list of facts concerning children with disabilities. Here are a few:

  • Bullying of children with disabilities is significant but there is very little research to document it.
  • Many students with disabilities are already addressing challenges in the academic environment. When they are bullied, it can directly impact their education.
  • Most states have laws that address bullying. Some have information specific to students with disabilities. For a complete overview of state laws, visit StopBullying.gov.
  • Parents, educators, and other adults are the most important advocates that a student with disabilities can have. It is important that adults know the best way to talk with someone in a bullying situation.
  • Most students don’t like to see bullying but they may not know what to do when it happens. Peer advocacy – students speaking out on behalf of others – is a unique approach that empowers students to protect those targeted by bullying.

Bullying should not be a child’s rite of passage, especially if they are disabled. Commit to protecting and empowering them to thrive and rise above their perceived limitations. Here is a great resource .@zoliezi the Children’s Book Character with an Anti #bullying Message #FF.

~Dr. Grady
[photo credit: Environmental Illness Network via photopin cc]

 

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