empathyCan we provide an alternative for the child who has a reading disability, who would do anything he could to cause a distraction and get kicked out of class, just so he wouldn’t have to read out loud?

Can we learn more about different communication methods for the child who finds it difficult to follow a conversation because of an auditory processing disorder, who chooses to eat by herself in a quiet corner of the school instead of the cafeteria with the other students?

Can we recognize the creativity in the child who is easily distracted, and has a hard time following directions, and doesn’t appear to be listening and has problems organizing easy tasks, and forgets about daily activities and often loses things and doesn’t like doing things that requires sitting still?

Can we embrace the individuality of the high school student who is gay and is afraid to let others know for fear of being shunned by his classmates?

Can we understand the vulnerability of the girl who turns to substance abuse because she doesn’t know any other way to cope with her mom’s depression?

Can we find a way to accommodate the child who becomes weak and tired half way through the day, instead of labeling them as unmotivated or lazy?

Can we get to know parents from another culture and understand why their parenting style may be different from our own, and teach them about the norms of our culture, before we separate children from their parents?

Can we encourage the student with high intelligence to realize their abilities so that they can strengthen mankind and advance our world?

Can we be patient with the child who just doesn’t seem interested in school and explore other ways to teach him?

Can we figure out a way to support the child who is struggling with social anxiety so that he doesn’t feel like the world is crashing down on him whenever her leaves the house?

Stigma is a negative stereotype and often stems from the judgment of others who are different from what we define as “the norm”.

Can we stop being judgmental for judgment stops growth, development and progress?others-shoes

Stigma makes people feel alone.

Can we appreciate the diversity of all mankind?

Can we find the courage to speak up for something different?

Can we take the initiative to make change?

What can you do to reduce stigma today?  Write your idea down and take action.

~ Lisa