1 Typically developing children need to get to know children with disabilities.
Early Intervention and Public Policy
© Cengage Learning
children must be an integral part of any program designed to promote healthy development (Lieber, Schwartz, Sandall, Horn, & Ashworth Wolery, 2003; Wolery & Wilbers, 1994).
Typically developing preschool children need to get to know children with disabilities, especially children whose disabilities are obvious—children who are visually and hearing impaired, physically challenged, or less able cognitively. During their early years, non-disabled children, unless otherwise inuenced, seldom have trouble accepting children who are developmentally different. In fact, the disability may not even gure in a child’s efforts to describe a classmate with a disability. One parent tells the following story:
Andrea came back from preschool saying she wanted to invite Katie home for lunch the next day. I could not gure out who Katie was. Andrea tried to describe Katie’s hair, then her new jacket, then her paintings. I still couldn’t place her. Finally Andrea said, “Katie’s the one who comes with shiny rib- bons in her hair,” and I knew immediately who Katie was. She was the child in the wheelchair who always had big colorful bows at the ends of her braids! Apparentl , using a wheelchair was not one of Katie’s outstanding characteristics for my child.
The signicance of the early years in laying the foundations for lifelong learning is well established. During these early years, children acquire a broad range of basic skills in all areas of development.
1. They learn to move about, to get from one place to another independently, to explore and experiment.