There is no doubt that children should be taught about the various aspects of disability, and there are a few reasons for this.
Firstly, most children are cruel, especially when it comes to interacting with other children. When they are unaware of the effects of another child’s disability (whether mental or physical) on that child, they find it easy to make taunting remarks to the child or to even push around or physically attack the disabled child. Bullying is a very common phenomenon in most educational institutions, and most bullies pick on normal children, so the disabled child is an easy mark. Also, being picked on is difficult enough to deal with even when one does not have a disability, which means that the impact on a disabled child will be a lot greater, especially when it comes to self-esteem and confidence. Making children more aware of disability is an indirect way of strengthening the self-worth of a disabled child.
Furthermore, if children learn about disability, they can promote a more harmonizing atmosphere for the disabled children they interact with. This will help disabled children to fit in better with a society where they will always be considered different, as from a young age they will only have encountered acceptance and friendship from non-disabled peers.
Moreover, children should be taught about disability because they will always be encountering different people in life, whether the difference is in looks, race, religion, caste, or creed. By teaching them that just because someone is different does not mean that they should be treated badly, the children will grow up to be more tolerant towards people who live in a different way from them, or come from a different country, or worship different gods. Disability is, after all, just another difference.
Also, children who are taught about disability might find it easier to cope if someone in their family, or they themselves, get into an accident and become disabled. Many people who became disabled in later life tend to find it much harder to cope with than people who are born with disabilities. However, if the newly-disabled person was taught about disabilities from a young age, it might make it easier to cope with.
In conclusion, children should definitely be taught about disability, and how it affects people. By doing so, not only will the children themselves be strengthened to deal with life, but they will have compassion for other disabled children or adults, which in turn will give those people confidence and hope.