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Free Booklets to Help You Welcome Limb-Different Children To Your Class

To make for a less stressful first day of school

The day a child starts school is a big event for all concerned.

The obligatory front door photo with a rucksack that’s almost as big as they are. That one and only time their white polo shirt will be completely paint free. The child might be nervous. The parents or guardians more so.  

Now imagine you are the parent of a child with a limb difference.

Your child might be missing a hand, part of an arm, a foot, part of a leg. They might need a prosthetic, they might not.

Whatever the difference, with a limb-different child, it's an obvious one.

How to Help

For the last four years or so, you've been the one to help your child deal with the stares, answer the questions (always so many questions), help your child speak for themselves, help them get on with just being a child. 

You're the one who has painstakingly NOT helped their child cut up their food, NOT helped them get dressed, NOT opened crisp packets for them. You know letting them fend for themselves is hard. Any parent’s instinct is to help, after all.

Instead, you help in other ways.

You’ve discovered how useful Velcro under buttons is. How a spork beats a knife and fork. The time-saving power of elastic-waisted trousers. The miracle that is a pencil grip or the non-slip mat under a piece of paper.

So many tiny adjustments to make life easier that also help your child to learn to be independent as any young child can be.

And then your child starts school.

The Wonderful Tommy D

On the day Tommy D, my wonderful limb-different grandson started school, we were so nervous.

Had we done enough? Had we made the right adjustments to prepare him? Had we briefed the teacher well enough?

Tommy’s first day at school was a long day. Not for him. For us.

He loved it, arriving home messy and beaming. ‘It was OK,’ was the resounding endorsement we needed.

We knew we had done enough.

His teacher had kept an eye on him but, as requested, didn’t intervene when children were asking questions about his little hand. She stayed within earshot and later told us that he just shrugged and said, ‘I was born like this’. His new classmates shrugged too, accepted it and carried on playing.

Aren’t children great.

We were in a fortunate position – as Tommy’s grandma and a former teacher I knew it was OK to go into school and be completely open. Teachers are always grateful for any help dealing with a situation they have never experienced before and now we all knew what to expect.

Many parents I meet, however, are not as comfortable going into school and setting out what is needed. And many teachers then do not know how to act and are always worried about upsetting the parents, with concerns over how to refer to the limb difference (if at all) and how to help (or not) the child.

Two New Free Leaflets

Which is where these two new free leaflets come in from The Limbo Foundation, of which I am a proud (and happily overworked) trustee.

Put together after conversations with many parents and teachers, Welcoming a Limb Different Child Into Your School, offers practical advice for all concerned.

With a version for Upper Limb Difference and one for Lower Limb Difference, the leaflets include a list of ‘worries’ and ‘tips’ put together by parents and guardians plus advice from teachers who have already worked with one of the foundation’s limb-different children in their class.

As you’d expect, they are also full of bright and colourful photos of our limb-different children being just that, children.

Get in Touch for More Help with Limb-Different Children in Your Class

You can download them in digital format by clicking the links above or, for paper copies, get in touch via the Limbo Foundation website. They’re free (put don’t let that stop you clicking the 'Donate Now' button so we can continue with our life-affirming work).

And, of course, please do get in touch if you have any other questions or queries. We would love to help you make that first day of school ‘OK’ for all your children.

Thank you!

Jane Hewitt – Trustee of The LimbBo Foundation and Tommy D’s proud grandma


About the author

Jane Hewitt

Jane is an experienced teacher who is also a self-taught photographer and our resident 'Grannny with a Camera'. Her book, Learning Through a Lens, is introduced by Mick Waters and encourages schools to use photography as a way of teaching children to look closely at the world around them.

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