10 Things You Can Learn About Having a Visible Disease by Watching 'Wonder'
I cried, I laughed, I related...
The New York Times bestseller Wonder is an inspiring, heartfelt story about a 10 year old, Auggie Pullman, who was born with a craniofacial difference. After being home schooled for all of his life, his parents decide it was time for Auggie to experience something new... Elementary school.
Editors Note: Before reading on please note that this post contains some spoilers about the book and movie "Wonder."
It was a book before it hit the big screen, Wonder is an inspiring movie which will give you the inside scoop of a child's life with a visible condition. I had a chance to watch the movie a few weeks ago. Although my issue has nothing to do with facial structure the uncomfortable moments displayed in the film brought back many flash backs and hurtful moments from my own childhood and dealing with psoriasis. I loved the movie because it gave viewers the opportunity to see challenges from all sides of the spectrum. It showed Auggie's struggles, his parents conflicts, and his sister's inner battles.
10 valuable lessons and insights I learned from "Wonder"
Kids will fake being sick.
At school to avoid being bullied or escape a bad day. There was a scene in the movie where Auggie had found out some devastating news in regards to a close friend. He went to the school nurse and told her he wasn't feeling good. He wasn't physically sick, but wanted to avoid the drama at school. This made me realize it's really important to ask questions to gauge a child's mental and emotional health.
Other siblings may feel forgotten.
Not only did the film give insight to Auggie's life with a visible condition it also uncovered how his sister Olivia felt. In the movie she felt voiceless and often times forgotten because a lot of her parents attention went to Auggie due to his condition. This was a dynamic aspect to share. Olivia didn't exactly share how she felt but it was displayed through some passive aggressive anger.
Kids fight inner battles too.
Kids with a visible condition are facing a battle you aren't aware of. In the film a lot of Auggie's insecurities and fears were revealed through his inner thoughts, they were revealed to the audience but not the other characters in the movie.
Your child's chances of being bullied will increase significantly if the are living with a chronic disease.
The Center for Advancing Health reveals the following data through research on chronic illness, disability, and bullying, "The study showed that students who reported having a disability or chronic illness no matter where they lived — were more likely to be experience bullying from peers than those who did not."1
Kids behaviors at school are a reflection of their home environment.
There was a bully named Julian on Auggie's back at school who constantly picked on him and made fun of his facial features. When Julian's parents were finally contacted about the bullying they only defended their son and provided justification as to why they wouldn't punish him for his actions. The mother of Julian also contributed to the bullying of Auggie through an altered class picture, where she edited Auggie out of the photo due to his looks.
Kids can have compassion.
Although there was a lot of sad moments within the film there were moments that reflected kids can be compassionate, loving, and caring human beings. But in my opinion it's something which first must be taught in the home.
Kids will join in in bullying due to peer pressure.
For the first time in Auggie's life he found a friend. The friend's name was Jack Will. They played video games, sat at lunch together, and had lots of laugh. But on Halloween that all changed when Auggie overheard Jack saying some really mean things about his condition. In the end it was revealed Jack didn't really believe those sentiments but was caught up in being a part of the "cool crowd" which included taking part of making fun of Auggie.
Often times, teachers aren't aware of the bullying.
Many times the student to teacher ration is around 25:1, which can make it hard for educators to know all the ins and outs of what's happening in and outside the classroom. In the movie, most of the teachers were unaware of the bullying that was occurring.
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