Perceptions about children with varying abilities are teeming with myths and misconceptions. Often misinformation is rooted in lack of knowledge, fear of the uncertain, or the presence of incorrect, often negative, stereotypes. As an early childhood professional, you have the responsibility to be knowledgeable of varying abilities and must take direct action to correct other’s misperceptions in order to both foster anti-bias attitudes and actions and better serve and support children with varying abilities and their families.
For this Discussion, you will examine some of the misinformation that surrounds the nature and characteristics of what have been termed “disabilities” and you will evaluate your own perspectives and insights with regard to working with children with varying abilities.
Think about the key information all early childhood professionals should know about each of the varying abilities and then, reflect on the following questions to prepare for the Discussion:

  • How well were you able to identify and explain the misconceptions and assumptions evident in the statements?
  • What have you learned about yourself and your perceptions of children with varying abilities?
  • What other varying abilities might you want to learn more about in order to have a more anti-bias attitude and belief system?
  • What might be the consequences of stereotyping children with varying abilities? For families? Other significant adults in children’s lives? Children with whom they interact? The children themselves?