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A Pediatric Perspective

Kids are the Best Teachers!

Published March 24, 2013 3:02 PM by Cecilia Cruse

As a peds OT for over 25 years, I’ve said for a long time now that it’s not what we teach our kids in therapy it’s what they teach us!  Here are a few great examples of our ambassadors for special needs:

Grace McClelland: Born with a ULD (Upper Limb Difference) at age 5 Grace was bullied by a boy at at school for her “stupid little hand.”  Showing wisdom beyond her years and with her mother transcribing her thoughts, the book The Gift of Grace was born.  Now at the ripe old age of 9, Grace’s book is published and she continues on her mission to explain what‘s it’s like to have a congenital hand difference and serves as  an inspiration to other children (and all of us!) with special needs.  Go Grace!

A Child’s View of Sensory Processing: is a 9+ minute video clip sponsored by Easter Seals and Goodwill that is well worth watching.   7 year old Neil is the narrator and opens by saying that   “…..SPD is when the messages that your brain gets from your senses is not organized so you don’t respond to things like most people do.  This makes it hard to do everyday life stuff like getting ready for the day, going to school, eating and playing…..”. Thanks Neil! We couldn’t have phrased it better!

A few years ago, at age 14 Daniel Stefanski wrote How to Talk to an Autistic Kid to help his peers understand more about autism and the challenges of the pragmatic/social skills that often coincide with this diagnosis. With simplicity, wit and an interweaving of personal stories, Daniel accomplishes what he  states in his opening that  “….I hope fewer autistic kids will feel lonely” and that “…..If we are friendly and nice to each other, all of us can have new, interesting and fun friends.”   Sound advice indeed Daniel!

Do you know a child that is an ambassador for special needs?  Please share his/her story with us!


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