Amy Julia, a white woman wearing a dark blue dress, holds a white mug with the NBC logo. She is smiling at the camera with the NBC studio in the background.

Playdates and Disability

When I had a chance to talk with NBC News about parenting kids with disabilities, I was asked about playdates. Here, in a nutshell, is what I wish parents of typically-developing kids knew about kids with disabilities: Disability is not as different as you might imagine.
If I had to sum it up in a really short way, I would tell other parents: Disability is like a magnifying glass of the human experience, rather than a whole different category of human experience. So things that are stressful for your kids are probably stressful for my kid too—it might just all be magnified. For instance, a new experience might be overwhelming because it is loud or there are bright lights or there are little things to touch. All of that can be magnified and become overwhelming. Many of these things aren’t different from one child to the next; but for a child with a disability, they just might be bigger.

So if you are a parent who wants to help your child invite a friend with a disability over to play, just remember that their friendship, and their shared humanity, can help you understand both of them and help them understand each other.

Watch Segment 1
Watch Segment 2

More with Amy Julia:
NBC News Now | Teaching Kids About Disability and Friendship
My Stressful, Fun Day at NBC
Turning 18 and Guardianship Decisions

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