by Logan Kowit,

Tiferet Bet Israel

Some things I have learned about people with disabilities is that when you are working with someone who has special needs, you need to be very careful about how you act, talk, and present yourself. The way that you act can have a very positive or very negative affect on the child. They might think that if you are doing something that you shouldn’t be doing that they can do it too, or they can be frightened by the way you act and the child won’t feel comfortable around you at all.

The way that you talk is something important to remember because people with cognitive disabilities often don’t understand some sarcasm or jokes and may think you are being serious about something even though you are really not or didn’t mean to.  If you use sarcasm with someone who has a disability, it can completely confuse them and get them unfocused or it can really scare them because they think you are being serious.

The last thing that I have learned about people with disabilities is that you have to be careful on how you present yourself.  The way that you present yourself means that you have to have a positive vibe rather than a negative vibe. The way that you present yourself determines how comfortable that child will feel around  you. If you present yourself in a negative way and have a negative vibe the child will feel uncomfortable and feel as if they can’t trust you and will want to move away from you. If you present yourself in a positive way and have a positive vibe that child will begin to feel comfortable around you and trust you.

In the end it was very interesting to learn about different skills and tactics for how to work with people who have disabilities.  I can not only use these skills and help kids and children in my religious school, but I can also look forward to applying them with people I work with and care for in my everyday life and make a difference with someone.