How to Talk to Kids about Limb Differences

Updated: Jul 27

This week we will be talking about limb differences. “Limb difference” is a broad term that describes any physical difference of the fingers, hands, arms, toes, feet, or legs. Some people are born with limb differences and some people lose all or part of a limb later in life. Living with limb differences can make some everyday tasks challenging, but many people with limb differences can do just about anything anyone else can do. They just do it in a different way. Kids should know that children with limb differences are just like other kids! They love to play and have friends.


Specifically, when someone is missing a limb, it is kind to not ask, “What happened?” This is because some people lose limbs in traumatic accidents and talking about their experience might be difficult. Instead, know that you can engage in friendship with someone without knowing what caused their limb loss.



Big Idea: Some people have limb differences.


Recommended reading:

  • When Charley Met Emma & Awesomely Emma by Amy Webb- I know I included these books on last weeks recommended reading, but they’re just too good not to include again! You can purchase “When Charley Met Emma” here OR you can watch the read aloud version on YouTube here. You can purchase “Awesomely Emma” here OR you can watch the read aloud version on YouTube here.

  • Different Is Awesome by Ryan Haack- This book is written by a man who has one arm. It shows how he does things in a different way. You can purchase this book here OR you can watch the read aloud version on YouTube here.

  • Rescue and Jessica by Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes- This book tells about a woman who has her legs amputated after an accident and her service dog. You can purchase this book here OR watch the read aloud version on YouTube here.

  • Uniquely Me by Trace Wilson- This book is about a boy who was born with one hand. You can purchase this book here OR watch the read aloud version on YouTube here.

  • What Happened to You? by James Catchpole and Karen George- This book tells about a boy who only has one leg and teaches kids how to talk to those who have disabilities. You can purchase this book here OR watch the read aloud version on YouTube here.

Movies:

  • Finding Nemo & Luca


Discussion Questions:

  • What are some different ways people might have limb differences? (They might be missing one or more arms or legs, they might have fewer fingers, different shaped hands or limbs, etc.)

  • How might people with limb differences do things differently than you do? (They might use prosthetics or a wheelchair. They might use just one arm to do things you use both arms for. They might use their feet to do something you use your hands for. Check out this video of George Dennehy playing the guitar with his feet! They might use special tools to help them do things with their differently-shaped hands. Check out this video of Myles using a custom spoon to eat!)

  • How are people with limb differences similar to you?

  • How can you be a friend to someone with a limb difference?


Instagram Accounts to Follow:

  • @lucky_fin_project- This is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about limb differences.

  • @mastaletpartyof5- This account shares about a boy named Hunter who had one leg amputated after being attacked by a dog.

  • @havenfaithshepherd- Haven is a young woman who lost both of her legs as a baby. She is now a paralympian swimmer.

  • @_aboutlaw- This account shares about a 2 year old boy named Myles who has limb differences due to a condition called VACTERL.

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