Myths and facts about differences for children

And of course the odd adult that needs this information too!

We have brought together some of the statements that we have come across from children at school and ideas on how to answer them. We would love it if you would let us know about any ones that we have missed or that you have heard and ideas on how to find an answer.

Paralympians can do all sorts of things and run really fast, I read somewhere the other day that a man with no legs climbed a mountain – so my friend should be able to do all these things as well.

Your friend has a limb difference, no matter how they came to have that limb difference it didn’t make them a superstar. There are no special powers given to a child with a limb difference. There are just different ways of doing things. Some people with all their limbs are amazing sports personalities and some people with limb loss are amazing sports personalities. We are all different and unique with strengths in different areas.

I think people with limb difference are more comfortable being left alone and I shouldn’t ask them questions.

This is tough one as all children will feel differently about questions. Children are naturally inquisitive and although questions can make people uncomfortable it can be better than staring and leaving a child in isolation. Just remember to respect your friends privacy and right to not share their information with you. Most children with limb loss like to be included in all the same things you do and they learn to adapt – their friends can help them to feel like they are not left out.

There is nothing I can do to help my friend with a limb loss

Everyone can help by being inclusive and understanding. Starting today you can make a difference. If you have any questions or you are not sure how to handle something then ask your teacher.

My friend can’t join in when they are in a wheelchair, wheelchairs are confining

A wheelchair is an assistive aid to help a child get around. It allows your friend to get about more easily and join in. There are different wheelchairs for different activities. Have you seen wheelchair rugby or wheelchair basketball?

My friend must be very ill because he/she is in a wheelchair

A child uses a wheelchair for many reasons. Many children with limb loss are not ill.

Why does my friend have a wheelchair some days and a prosthetic leg on others, he/she must be faking it that he needs a wheelchair.

A child with limb loss has to adapt lots of things that we take for granted. No two days are the same and there are many reasons why your friend might need a wheelchair some days. Prosthetic limbs can be uncomfortable and leave sores and bruises. Children who wear prosthetic limbs can get far more tired than other children.

Children with limb loss live a very different life to me

Children with limb loss live the same lives as you. They go to school, get married, have children, drive and get jobs. They also have to pass the same exams!

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