Healthy Kids: An inspirational boy tells us how to be more inclusive
Published Tuesday, February 5, 2013 3:25PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, February 6, 2013 7:10PM EST
Kellen Schleyer, 11, is trying out for the hand-ball team at Ottawa's St. Jerome Elementary School.
He was born with Cerebral Palsy and has become an advocate for kids with disabilities.
He often shares his message with kids who ask about his wheelchair.
“Sometimes the mom and dad try to hide it so it doesn't make me feel bad,” says Kellen, “but I don't mind if they ask the questions. I’m just a normal kid but in this chair.”
A lack of understanding and acceptance can leave some kids feeling isolated from their peers.
CHEO Child-Life specialist Nora Ullyot says, it's a subject we should talk about with our kids. “We don't say they can't do things. That they do things differently, their body works differently.”
Families can also talk about the importance of being inclusive.
“It doesn't have to be totally altruistic.” Says Ullyot, “This is somebody in our neighbourhood, in our class, and they want to do the same things as we do, so let’s just include them.”
Kellen says his friends are supportive, something he hopes others will learn from.
CTV's Natalie Pierosara will have more on this story tonight at six.