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Dillon & His Exceptional Friends - Encouraging Inclusivity!
Having a medical condition can mean that you are seen as ‘different’ from other people. Dealing with stigma from perceived difference can be especially difficult for children and so facilitating open conversation around medical conditions to educate children is especially important.
Teaching children about acceptance and inclusion allows kids to develop emotionally and socially. Understanding the point of view and perspective of others can be fostered by:
- Talking to children about differences! We all have our own likes, dislikes and interests - it’s okay that these are different to each other.
- Lead by example and encourage children to ask questions and share their observations with you.
- Assist children to see that differences are to be celebrated, this can be done by exposing children to other cultures, people and experiences.
- Letting your child know that there is nothing wrong with being different and that everyone deserves respect even if they are not the ‘same’ as us.
- Introduce children to books and media that are respectful sources of inclusivity and diversity.
A great example of how books can allow children to see ‘different’ as ‘normal’ is Dillon & His Exceptional Friends!
This is a wonderful example of how books can foster acceptance and empathy in children. This series features animals with various medical conditions that aim to educate children ages 4-8 by using kid-friendly language that encourages children to engage and interact with people who are unlike themselves.
This series of books sheds light on medical conditions using a range of animals to talk about conditions such as Anxiety, OCD, Cerebral Palsy and Down Syndrome, they are as follows:
Dillon the Dolphin: Educating Children about Cerebral Palsy
Tommy the Turtle: Educating Children about Anxiety
Shelly the Seagull: Educating Children about Depression
Stacy the Shark: Educating Children about Autism
Danielle the Duck: Educating Children about OCD
Sammy the Seal: Educating Children about ADHD
Willow the Walrus: Educating Children about Down Syndrome