Back-to-school advice: interacting with special needs children - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Back-to-school advice: interacting with special needs children

Posted: Updated:

TYLER (KYTX) -- With school back in session, your kids are seeing old and new faces in the halls. Some of which, may look or act differently from them. Not all know how to approach these special needs students.

We met one 6-year-old, who doesn't know the word "can't". Upon meeting Will, you quickly realize he's not letting anything hold him back.

"I know how to write my name in cursive," Will Butts tells us.

Will is affected by congenital amputation, meaning he's missing some limbs on his hands and feet. Since his 3-year-old sister Ellie also suffers from a physical limitation concerning her joints, his mom says they've heard it all.

"A lot of times we don't know how to talk to our kids about people that maybe look different or act different," Katie Butts said.

In her personal blog, Katie recently decided to give some advice.

"A common question that kids will ask is 'what's wrong with him or her?' And I'm a mom, and there is nothing wrong with my kids. So I'm usually quick to point out they are not wrong, they are just different," Butts said.

She says staring and pointing isn't helpful.

"So instead of staring, I tell kids to smile, because everybody likes to be smiled at," Butts said.

Counselors say they work to bridge the gap in schools.

"We try to get kids to identify what is the same? What do we like that's the same?" Marty Barbieri, Tyler ISD Director of Guidance and Counseling, said.

She says they want all kids to learn acceptance, resilience, and problem-solving skills.

"We prepare them because this is a life-long issue, this doesn't just stop when they are done with public school," Barbieri said.

Katie reads a book to Will's classmates on the first day of school so they better understand him. But she hopes those visits will be numbered.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Three more defendants plead guilty in 2013 Tyler Motel murder

    Three more defendants plead guilty in 2013 Tyler Motel murder

    Friday, August 22 2014 6:27 PM EDT2014-08-22 22:27:00 GMT
    Three defendants in a 2013 murder pleaded guilty and avoided a trial Friday.More >>
    Three defendants in a 2013 murder pleaded guilty and avoided a trial Friday.More >>
  • Report: Flint girl's hot car death accidental, dad drug-free

    Report: Flint girl's hot car death accidental, dad drug-free

    Friday, August 22 2014 6:24 PM EDT2014-08-22 22:24:35 GMT
    Russel Lindstrom, charged with manslaughter in the hot car death of his young daughter was in court Friday morning for a bond-reduction hearing.More >>
    Russel Lindstrom, charged with manslaughter in the hot car death of his young daughter was in court Friday morning for a bond-reduction hearing.More >>
  • Web Exclusive: New law on inheriting online accounts

    Web Exclusive: New law on inheriting online accounts

    Friday, August 22 2014 9:51 AM EDT2014-08-22 13:51:58 GMT
    When someone dies, often their online identity dies as well. A new law in one state, however, is looking to change that.  Think about all of the online footprints and accounts you've made.More >>
    When someone dies, often their online identity dies as well. A new law in one state, however, is looking to change that.  Think about all of the online footprints and accounts you've made.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

CBS19, MYTX & KCEB
2211 ESE Loop 323
Tyler, TX 75701
Phone (903) 581-2211
Fax (903) 581-5769

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KYTX. All Rights Reserved. Users of this site agree to the Terms of Service, Privacy Notice/Your California Privacy Rights, and Ad Choices.