How to talk to your kids about facial differences


Big idea: Everyone’s face is unique! Some people have faces that are more noticeably different.

Everyone’s face is unique! Our skin can come in lots of different colors. Our eyes can come in lots of different colors and shapes. Some people have freckles. Some have a big smile, and others have a small one. Some have round faces, and others have narrow faces.

Everyone’s face is unique, but some people have faces with more noticeable differences. Some may have a prominent birthmark on their face. Others may have an opening in their lip called a cleft. Some people have a lump on their face called a lymphatic malformation. Others have a skull that is shaped differently than most. There are many different ways people’s faces might look different.

Though kids with facial differences might look different, they want to be a friend, just like you! Smile and say hi! Invite them to play! It’s important to show kindness to everyone!



Recommended Reading:

  • We’re All Wonders by R.J. Palacio- This book is about a boy with Treacher Collins syndrome. He shares about his experience living with a facial difference and encourages others to be kind. You can purchase this book here or watch the read aloud version on YouTube here.

  • Jack’s New Smile by Jennifer Rhodes and Ruth Trivelpiece- This book is told from the perspective of a big sister whose new baby brother was born with a cleft lip and palate. You can purchase this book here or watch the read aloud version on YouTube here.

  • Lia’s Kind Mind by Dr. Nicole Julia- This book is about a lion with a port-wine stain who works hard to improve her gymnastics skills. You can purchase this book here.

  • Image Bearer by Ellie Sanazaro- This book is designed to teach a biblical view of differences and disability and features illustrations of two children with facial differences: one with a lymphatic malformation and another with a port-wine stain. You can purchase this book here.

Discussion questions:

  • How is your face unique? What are some other ways people’s faces can be different?

  • What was different about the kids we read about in the books?

  • What are some things the kids in the books liked to do for fun? (ride bike, eat ice cream, play ball, gymnastics, building blocks) Do you have anything in common?

  • The boy in “We’re All Wonders” tells about how some kids point at him, laugh, and say mean things. How does this make him feel?

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

Instagram accounts to follow:

  • @mother_of_violet- This account is about Theo, a baby who was born with a lymphatic malformation. Theo inspired an illustration in “Image Bearer.”

  • @amayahs_amazing_birthmark- This account shares about people with facial birthmarks. It is inspired by a girl named Amayah who was born with a port-wine stain. She inspired an illustration in “Image Bearer.”

  • @lupe_floress_- This account shares about a kindergarten aged boy named Maddux who has Treacher Collins syndrome.

  • @triciabrusk- This account shares about a little girl named Amelia who was born with Apert Syndrome.

  • @smiles_n_swag- This account shares about a baby girl named Kyla who was born with holoprosencephaly and a cleft lip and palate.

YouTube Account:

  • SBSK- I can’t recommend this account enough. It features Chris, a former special ed teacher, interviewing lots of people with various diagnoses. Many of his interviews are with people who have facial differences.

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