Mommies, if you have recently been to see the movie Barfi, as most of us did, or if you’ve read about it or have seen any of its trailers, you probably already know that the main actors are a little special, with special needs and a very special and beautiful life….
As a mother myself, what I definitely loved about the movie is that though the characters are deaf-dumb and autistic, none of it is used to generate pity, and instead, we are shown what a beautiful and ‘special’ life they have, blessed to be able to enjoy life at its fullest.
When my daughter watched the movie with us, she obviously had a lot of questions, her first one being why can’t the person speak or hear, or why does this person have such problems (as a 5-year-old, she felt that the difficulties faced by autistic people were especially hard because no one seems to try and understand what they say or feel!).
I was very sure that I wanted her to know the realities, yet make sure that she wouldn’t end up pitying or feeling sorry for those with special needs. I told her that even if they can’t speak or hear, or have difficulties expressing themselves freely to others, they do have a special language of their own, one that comes from the heart, one that is filled with love, governed by love, and one that can only be understood by people who are loving and caring themselves.
I know its quite hard to explain the entire concept to a kid, that too keeping in mind that your child will form an impression of special-needs people based on what you tell them and how you tell them. But you know what, children are really smart and understanding, and when you tell them something in the right way, they do understand and listen!
Don’t avoid such topics with your little one, because sooner or later, they will get to know, and it’s always best that you are the one who tells them the realities of life, and explain to them the responsibilities of growing into a wonderful human being.
- Don’t shy away from showing your babies movies that have special-needs people
- Don’t show movies that show special needs people in a bad light
- Talk to your kids about people with special needs
- Encourage them to mix with and make friends with special needs people
- Let your child feel that special-needs people are normal too, just different in behaviour, like most people are different
- Don’t pity a special-needs person in front of your child, and remember to be polite and understanding in your behaviour towards them, as your child will pick up your behaviour
- To make your child believe, you need to first believe yourself that people with special needs aren’t an illness, but just a different way of living