The Questions Kids Are Told Not to Ask

Have you ever had a child stare at you? You know they would love to ask questions because kids are naturally curious. When I was younger in the 60s and 70s, kids would often look at me and I just knew they wanted to ask questions, but their parents would shush them and whisk them away. 

Not all parents kept their children from learning about people with disabilities.

And I see now that more parents are encouraging their children to ask questions. My Mom was on the cutting edge of encouraging questions. 

Some of my first memories of my mom encouraging other parents and kids to ask questions happened when I was no more than five years old as I remember being in the shopping cart at a grocery store. I had a hearing aid that had a large box (that looked like a boob) strapped to my body and cords running to my ears. Another child was in the same aisle and started to point at me; how could he not point at this kid with a boob strapped on his chest and chords running to his ears? He must have wondered if I was listening to a radio, and what kind of radio was that?!? His mother grabbed his hand and put it down to say don’t point! My Mom steered that shopping cart right up to that other mother and her son, I couldn’t believe it! Was my mother going to embarrass me again? She told them both it was okay to ask questions. She went on to explain that I had Cerebral Palsy and was deaf and that the hearing aid box helped me hear. 

People still point and ask questions.

This even happened to me recently. Over the years, people have become more accepting of seeing people who are deaf and with disabilities. I would encourage you and your children to educate yourselves about people who are deaf or people with disabilities. It can be fun to learn sign language with your kids, and kids who read books about others with disabilities, whether they are blind people, or people with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, or dwarfism, will not be as quick to tease or make fun of those with disabilities. All children should be taught that people who are deaf and people with disabilities are just like you and me. It’s important they learn that there are many ways to communicate, and someone who is deaf or has a disability may need you to adjust the way you communicate. 

Parents: Have you had an opportunity to talk to your child about someone who is deaf or has a disability? 

How would you approach someone to ask a question about their circumstances?

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A black and white photo of one of Keith’s grade school photos. He is smiling and missing his two front teeth, and his right hand is under his chin. He has short dark hair and is wearing a short-sleeved turtleneck shirt.

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