Ask a Professional - Kids

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Hey kids (and parents) sometimes you might have questions that you can't answer yourself or with the help of your family or friends.

These kind of questions can be answered by someone trained to help kids like you. Below are a few examples.

If you have a question and just can't find the answer, feel free to send it to us and we will try to find the answer with the help of a qualified professional:

Submit your question by email using the following link: ask your question

We'll post the answers to your questions on this page.

 

Question
My sister is always mad at me because she thinks our parents give me all the attention. Sometimes she stays mad for days. How can I get her off my back?

Answer
Try looking at things from her point of view. Maybe she feels jealous or resentful because she sees your par-ents giving you rides to doctor's ap-pointments, or attending lots of meetings with your teachers. She could be wishing there was some reason for your parents to do extra stuff for her. It's also possible that she's feeling bad for having all these negative emotions.

It's not your job to "fix" the way your sister is feeling -she'll have to work on that herself. But there are some things you can try to make living with your sister a little easier to deal with:

  • Try talking to your sister about what's bugging her. Just giving her a chance to say what's on her mind might be enough to put an end to an argument. You could even consider calling a "family meeting" to get everyone involved in finding solu-tions to the situation.
     
  • Cut her some slack. Tell her how you feel, then gi ve her some room to work through her own feelings.
     
  • Don't fall into the trap of being baited into a heated argument. A screaming match is always a no-win situation .

 

Question
How can I deal with "dumb" questions that people ask me?

Answer
People ask questions for all sorts of different reasons. Some people are,
in fact, dumb; some are nosy; and other people have a genuine interest
in learning about something new. It's important to figure out why people are asking their questions when you're deciding how to answer them.

Before you blast back an angry response, consider: is the person really young or really old? Younger kids sometimes haven't had much exposure to people with disabilities. The same goes for older people. Older people might use old· fashioned expressions or words about disabilities. (I'm sure you know the ones I mean!) In either case, the person asking the question may really want to learn and find out new information. In these types of situations, it's probably best to answer the question as best you can. Of course, if you are unfortunate enough to run into a truly rude person, you certainly don't have to answer any
questions. More on that later.

Another thing to remember is that since you live with your disability, you know a lot of information about it. Most likely, other people don't know as much about it as you do. The answer may be obvious to you, but it may not be obvious to the person who asked the question. He or she might really want to know the answer. You are in a good position to educate others about disabilities (and your own disability in particular) should you choose to answer.

But back to the rude people...It is important to remember that just because a question has been asked, it doesn't mean that you have to answer it. If you feel that the question is too personal, you may decide to tell the person asking the question that you just don't feel comfortable answering it. Or you may want to simply change the subject. You could also choose to answer only part of the question, leave the rest, and then continue the conversation by bringing up a different topic.

Of course, you may find that a really rude person may be deliberately trying to put you on the spot (maybe in front of other people?) by asking something guaranteed to make you squirm. In this situation, you could choose to actually answer the question (without a trace of embarrassment) to educate the guy doing the asking, or you could just "laugh it off."

Here's an example of the "laugh it off' approach. (Feel free to come
up with your own witty rebuttals!) If your disability makes you really
clumsy and someone has asked you about it, you could say, "Of course
I'm a klutz! You would be too if you couldn't feel your feet!" Then you
could walk away before there's time for another question.

Either way, these types of answers send a clear message that being put on the spot like this is not a big deal. Answering like this can be
really hard to do, but it might just stop the questions. Other people
around you might get the idea that, hey, if it's not a big deal to you, then maybe it's just not a big deal. Period.

Being put on the spot by someone asking questions about your
disability is rarely fun. Just remember, there's no one "right" way to
answer. It depends on why you think the person is asking the question,
what the actual question is, who else is listening, and, let's face it, the
way you're feeling at that moment.

So, the next time someone asks a question, sum up the situation and
try out an answer. Soon you'll find a response that feels just right for you.