Hesperian Health Guides

Accept the Child’s Weaknesses

Every day 20,000 people visit the HealthWiki for lifesaving health information. A gift of just $5 helps make this possible!

Make a giftMake a gift to support this essential health information people depend on.

HealthWiki > Disabled Village Children > Chapter 54: Work: Possibilities and Training > Accept the Child’s Weaknesses

Children with certain areas of weakness or disability often also have other areas of strength or ability. When deciding what work skills a child should be helped to develop, it is generally wise to pick those in areas where the child is strongest. For example:

Boy who looks strong.
Strong looking boy milking a cow.
Boy writing letters at a desk.
He will probably make a better farm worker than a writer or bookkeeper.
A child who is mentally slow but physically strong... . . . may be happier and do better at learning certain physical skills . . . . . . than at spending a lot of time trying to learn mental skills.
Girl with disability that affects hands and legs.
Girl with disability that affects hands and legs sitting at desk writing.
Girl with disability that affects hands and legs with difficulties grinding something.
She may make a better health worker or school teacher than a farmer or grain grinder.
A child who is physically disabled but has a quick, intelligent mind... . . . may be happier and do better learning mental skills... . . . than trying to learn physical skills that will always be more difficult for her.
Boy with strong torso using crutches.
Man making shoes at table.
Boy with crutch working on crops with difficulty.
He may make a better sandal maker or welder than a field worker.
A child who has weak legs but strong arms and hands... . . . may be happier and do better learning manual skills . . . . . . than trying to learn skills that require use of his legs and feet.
Blind boy reaching out his hands.
Blind boy playing guitar.
Boy walking with cane up hill.
He will probably make a better village musician than a goat herder or hunter.
A child who cannot see but has a good sense of hearing, touch, and rhythm... . . . may be happier and do better learning skills that depend mainly on hearing and touch . . . . . than trying to learn jobs that are much more difficult without eyesight.

CAUTION! It usually makes sense to help a child develop specialized work skills in the areas where she is strongest. But it is also important for her to develop self-care and daily living skills as best she can, even though this may be difficult. Thus the child who is mentally slow needs to learn basic communication skills. The girl with spasticity needs to learn, if possible, how to prepare food and keep house. The weak-legged boy or blind child needs to learn how to get from place to place.
This page was updated:19 Jan 2018