Meet the kids

Ben

He has difficulties reading, writing and drawing. He is very slow when he tries to write, and his handwriting looks like a little kid’s. He tries really hard but gets embarrassed when he is asked to write things down by adults and friends. When Ben reads, he sometimes misses information on worksheets or skips paragraphs in books. 

Ben says he will do everything he can to avoid writing things down. He gets told off for not doing his work because he is embarrassed for people to see how slowly and poorly he writes. Some people tell him he is stupid because he makes mistakes when reading too. It makes him feel angry inside because he is not stupid and has many, many awesome ideas inside his head. 

What can you do to help Ben feel better and not so embarrassed? 

A blue child is looking sad, staring at the pencil in his hand. His cheeks are pink with embarrassment.

Sam

Sam always seems to miss a ball when it is thrown to him, and he is not very good at kicking balls which means he is left out of games in the playground and never chosen for a team. Even his family have given up on playing ball games with him! Sam said, “It makes me sad that I can’t join in with the others when they play soccer, and I am always the last to get chosen in PE lessons”

Sam also bumps into things in the classroom all the time and people call him clumsy. He often puts his clothes on inside out and hates doing his shoelaces up. Things fall out of his bag all the time because he doesn’t do it up properly. He hasn’t told anyone about his struggles because he is embarrassed. 

What could you do to make Sam feel less embarrassed about being bad at sports or about feeling clumsy? What games or sports could you play or invent to make him feel more included? 

A blue character is standing, with his hands held up to protect himself. He has a worried look on his face and is looking at a football which is flying towards his head.

Adele

Adele could hear when she was born but became deaf after a serious illness when she was 2. She is now hearing impaired in both ears. Her left ear is worse than her right ear.

Adele is a friendly, happy girl who likes to learn and play but she sometimes struggles to join in properly in the classroom and playground. She can’t always tell where noises are coming from, so if her friends call her in the playground, she might struggle to find them.

In a noisy room, she can’t hear her teacher or what her friends are saying so can’t follow the lesson easily. If people aren’t facing her when they speak, she will miss words and tone of voice. Having to concentrate so hard makes her tired and stressed as she worries she might miss something important.

If Adele came to your school, how would you make her feel welcome and included in your lessons and games? 

A blue character is wearing a hearing aid. She is smiling and signing the letter N in british sign language.

Mary

Mary can’t walk or stand well and uses an electric wheelchair to get around. Mary can’t play running games in the playground. 

Because she is sitting down all the time, she often can’t hear what her friends are talking about above her head. She says she gets sad that she doesn’t always understand what they are talking about and struggles to join in. Because she has to work harder to be heard, she sometimes sounds bossy. 

Her condition means she can’t always hold things very well but usually just needs the right things to help her. She loves making slime, playing computer games and gossiping. 

If Mary came to your school, how would you make her feel welcome and included in your lessons and games. 

A blue character is sitting in a wheelchair looking confused. There are question and exclamation marks over their head. Just behind them are two more characters - a female character with a limb difference, her left arm ends at her elbow, and a man who is wearing glasses and waving his finger about as though he is making an important point. They are talking over the head of the person in a wheelchair and not including her in the conversation.

Ree

Ree’s digestive tract can become inflamed and swollen, causing pain in her stomach, mouth ulcers and tiredness.

She needs to take a lot of medicines and has to go for a lot of medical appointments. As a result, she is off school a lot. When Ree is in school, she enjoys running games but gets worn out quickly.

Because Ree misses so much school, she can be very shy and doesn’t always know what is going on in class. She isn’t sure if her classmates know who she is. She doesn’t get invited to playdates or parties.

If Ree was in your class, how would you make her feel welcome and included in your lessons and games? 

A blue character is standing holding their chin in one hand and forehead in the other hand. Looking uncomfortable.

Nik

Nik has a condition that causes tunnel vision. Nik can only see things that are straight in front of him. He cannot see things that are at the side of him, above or below. This means that if you pass Nik a pen (or borrow one of his), you have to make sure he knows you have put it on the desk for him (or taken it). 

Getting around can be tricky for Nik. He can’t always see where his feet are, so can easily trip over things on the floor, walk into desks or fall down steps. Because Nik can’t always see who is speaking, he needs to be able to hear what is going on to join in properly. A noisy classroom or playground can be confusing. 

Nik is a fun boy, who loves to play and joke around with his friends. If Nik came to your school, how would you make him feel welcome and included in your lessons and games? 

A blue character with straggly hair is smiling and walking. They are using a white stick and wearing dark glasses.

Elie

Her body cannot control her blood sugar levels and, if she has too much or too little sugar in her blood, she can collapse.

She must measure her blood sugar by pricking her finger before and after every meal and give herself insulin injections to keep her blood sugar level.

Elie must check her sugar levels before and after she does anything too active. Sometimes her sugar levels drop too much, and she feels a bit dizzy, shaky and emotional. When this happens, Elie needs to eat a sugary snack quickly or she could collapse! 

Sometimes Elie worries that the kids in her school think she is odd. She thinks they are scared that she will collapse and are too afraid to play with her. 

If Elie was in your class, how would you make her feel happy and included? 

A blue character wearing yellow dungarees has one hand up to their forehead and their head down, looking exhausted.

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