Older Than Dinosaurs…

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Prejudice

I am so saddened to read that a number of parents have complained to the BBC about the CBeebies presenter, Cerrie Burnell, who was born without a hand. Some are saying that their children are being scared by her disability and one even said they can’t let their children watch as they will have nightmares.

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The attitude of these parents is appalling and demonstrates their own poor parenting skills. I have an obvious facial disability and as a Health Visitor, spent all my working life with small children. Children are not scared by disability, just curious about differences, they will ask questions and accept a simple open explanation.

On only one occasion during my 40yr career was I told that a mother had complained that her child was scared by my appearance. She made this complaint to a consultant paediatrician who, unfortunately, for someone who should have known better, did nothing to contradict her opinion instead he supported her by saying he would ask for me not to visit the family again.

Prejudice against disabled persons doesn’t start with children, it’s imbued in them by the ignorance of adults.

I had a look at CBeebies this morning and I applaud the BBC for seeing beyond the disability and employing Cerrie for her undoubted talents in communicating with children.

February 24, 2009 Posted by | 1 | | Leave a comment