902: Changing Children’s Attitudes.

Here’s an article I ran across about a study on children’s attitudes toward their disabled peers. Of course, medicine is not an exact science, and media coverage of science is notoriously sensational (I especially have questions about the Autism Epidemic: we’ll discuss that in class in a couple of weeks); but the article makes some points that connect to issues we’ve discussed in class, about what might encourage or discourage prejudice. Take a look: it’s very short.

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2 thoughts on “902: Changing Children’s Attitudes.

  1. I like this article. It seems that in school district’s efforts to create a diverse environment for their students, disabled children are often forgotten. We forget that diversity does not just mean having a variety of races and religions in a classroom. I find that the lack of initiative to fully integrate disabled children into “mainstream” classrooms further reflects our society’s attitude towards the disabled. You can never truly empathize with another human being if you only understand them at face value, so it is vital that non disabled and disabled children study and play in coalition in the classroom to eradicate ignorant perceptions.

    The article also reminds me of my childhood. There were two boys I went to middle school with who would be labeled as disabled. I’m not sure of the one boy’s disorder but his legs have braces and he walks with arm canes; the other fellow has Asperger syndrome. My relationships with them helped eliminate my narrow perception of disabled people at an age when I was too naive not to know I shouldn’t judge other folks. They expanded my understanding of what exactly a “normal” person is.

  2. I feel that prejudice towards disabled would decrease if disable are allow to play, learn, socialize with the able students. By interacting with disabled students on a daily basis, one would get accustomed to disabled people, and would not need to rely on media’s image of disabled. If disabled students were isolated from the able kids, it would only promote prejudice. The able kids will come to think of disabled as inferior and helpless. Prejudice could also be encouraged if disabled get what they want through pity or taking advantage of being disabled to get free services or money. Even the media can encourage prejudice by portraying disabled characters as defenseless, dependent, and unintelligible. The best way to discourage prejudice against disabled is informing the public about how independent disable people can be, and to treat them more equally.

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