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10 attitudes that can help students with disabilities

When we have in our family or among our students someone with intellectual disabilities, we usually have professionals who help us to understand the reality of these people: their needs, their concerns or their fears.

However, what happens when the relationship with these people is not so close but we live with them? This is the case of friends, neighbours or work colleagues who have a child with a disability. Do we know how to act?

Our intuition and even popular wisdom dictate some things that we almost naturally know we should not do, but do we know what attitudes can help - and a lot - these people with disabilities who are in our closest circle?

10 tips that can help people with disabilities:

1. Act naturally. People with disabilities appreciate it when differences in treatment and paternalism are avoided.

2. Provide direct assistance when necessary. Offer your collaboration or support when you think it can be positive.

3. Listen carefully. People with disabilities, like everyone else, have things to tell. And they want to be listened to.

4. Ask their opinion. It is important to have their input before making a decision - they will surprise you with a truly enriching point of view!

5. Respect their decisions. There are times when we all prefer to be alone, or the help we are given or the proposal we are given does not appeal to us. Respect it without being offended.

6. Share. Stories in the case of adults, toys in the case of children, your experience of a difficulty, or why not? The newspaper on a Sunday morning or the sofa on which you are watching TV.

7. Involve him/her. There are many activities that a person with a disability can do in the same way as you. Try playing a game of football, gardening, going for a walk or renovating the paint on the wall of your house!

8. Enjoy their company. Being able to share your time with a person with a disability is an opportunity for both of you. Enjoy it.

9. Show them that they can trust you. Sometimes just by being there for them, by trying to be there for them when they need it and when they need it. If you get them to trust you, they will trust you forever!

10. And share these tips if you think they might help someone else!

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