Disabled kids show host draws criticism

Canada
February 28, 2009 7:47pm CST
A children's show host, Cerrie Burnell, who was born with one hand is facing criticism from parents over her disability. The British children's show has received complaints recently about Cerrie Burnell, new host of two shows on the BBC-run CBeebies television network, which is aimed at children younger than 6. The compaints reveal an alarming prejudice towards disability ... from adults Are parents over reacting?? Why do adults fear disabilities? As a disabled person and an amputee I am outraged by people reaction to people like us, we are human just like everyone else.
1 person likes this
9 responses
@TLChimes (4838)
• United States
1 Mar 09
*****NOT REFERAL LINK***** http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/presenters/cerrie_tv.shtml It took my 8 year old several times to even notice anything different about the woman. When I told her why we were watching the clip she was horrified..... at the people who were picking on her. She couldn't believe people are that "stupid" She even pointed out that both Barney (which had a child with the same kind of disability) and Sesame Street has people with disabilities. SHE (my way too smart child) even pointed out that if kids learn to be ok with people that have differences then the kids WON'T be scared of them when they meet them in real life. Cerrie has the backing of me and mine! The parents aren't just over reacting they are nuts. I don't know why they think it's ok to treat others like that. Cait says she thinks they are bad parents. And you have every right to be upset.
2 people like this
• Canada
1 Mar 09
It is the parents who the problem. Parents are not helping the situation, and having parents that are troubled by disabilites in the spot light like this may cause a ripple effect to their children and may cause bullying.
@TLChimes (4838)
• United States
1 Mar 09
The parents are the whole problem. Most kids would get around the issue without much problems. It's the nasty, ignorant parents that have the problem and need some counciling. I hope this woman keeps her job for years to come. By The Way, instead of trying to take her job they could just have their kids watch something else or TURN OFF THE TV. Idiots the lot of them.
@Foxxee (3653)
• United States
1 Mar 09
We need more kids like TLC's child... you can tell your child will be the child that always welcomes the new kid in school... or maybe the one that gives a helping hand to the needy.... You should be proud!
1 person likes this
@daneg33 (1131)
• Canada
1 Mar 09
That is completely ridiculous. Disabled people should not be singled out. I don't understand. In today's world, I thought we were way more tolerant and had gotten past this sort of stupidity.
2 people like this
• Canada
1 Mar 09
I totally agree, as I always say "you cant please everyone"
• Canada
1 Mar 09
Wow! That's really sad. If kids are exposed to disabilities, different skin colours, and things that are not "the norm" to them (or to the idiotic adults who raise them!!!) then they will grow up to be more accepting adults. I was born legally blind, and with mobility issues. The kids teased the crap out of me in school, however my family was used to the whole situation, and no one had any problems with it. We also had friends with different skin colours, missing limbs, speech challenges, mental challenges, some where blind, deaf, all sorts of things. They were just "regular people" to all of us. No prejusice, no problem.
1 person likes this
• Canada
1 Mar 09
I grew up around amputees and people with all types of disabilities. I have more of an understanding and sure I was bullied but the bullier usually has less understanding and just have one less skill in life.
• United States
1 Mar 09
What I heard on this subject was that Cerrie's missing appendage was causing children to have nightmares. Here's the thing. Small children (under the age of 6) will react the way they are taught to react. Children are programmed to ask questions. If they see something that is different from what they are used to, they ask why. If they are showing prejudice (i.e. fear) toward Cerrie it is because they overheard Mom and Dad making some kind of negative comment. It's the same as not reacting when a child falls down. When he falls, give him to the count of 3. If he starts crying in that time, then something really hurt. If not, help him up, brush him off and go on with life. But so many parents scream and scramble when Little Johnny falls down so Johnny's instincts tell him, "Mom is upset, that must mean something is wrong," and he starts to scream too. He may or not be truly injured, but Mom's reactions are teaching him that any instance of falling down is catastrophic. The same holds true with people who are different than what the child is accustomed to. If Mom makes a big deal over the difference, the child will learn that there is a big deal to be made. And with small children, whose emotional ranges are more limited than adults, "big deal" equals either paralyzing fear or wild amusement, depending on what kind of a big deal the parents are making. If Cerrie is giving children nightmares it is because their parents are teaching them to be afraid of her, which is not right, not fair, but, absolutely, human nature.
@Foxxee (3653)
• United States
1 Mar 09
That is soooo true... If a parent reacts, the child will react in the same way...
@zralte (4184)
• India
18 Nov 11
I was thinking about this topic today and thought I'd see if there is any discussion in myLot. When we were visiting in summer of 2010, she was presenting and I just wondered if she is still presenting. In 2010, my daughters were watching and my then 3 year old told me, 'Mummy, that lady has one arm missing'. Just that. No surprise, she was just making a statement of things she observed. She did not have any problem, she never said she did not want to watch her or anything. She was as interested as any other programme. My friend came over one day with her then 2 year old and I was shocked when she turned her daughter away from the TV and changed the channel when Cerrie came on. First, we were in my house!!! I would not change channel on someone's house. Second, what is wrong with her daughter seeing Cerrie?Imagine you are walking down the street and your child suddenly points at someone saying, 'That person is different', or just stare continuously because the child has never seen anything like it? In my opinion, exposing young kids to different things helped them understand life better. I'd much rather my kids see and understand that there are people with disabilities, but having disability does not mean that they are alien or anything.
@Foxxee (3653)
• United States
1 Mar 09
That is really sad that parents are acting this way... I'm a mother of 2 kids & I think its a good thing for them to see other people with other different challenges.. it keeps the questions coming & we as parents need to feed their knowledge & teach them that everyone is different & that is a beautiful thing.
• United States
1 Mar 09
Island_Geko I agree it does make one upset and disappointed in our society to be so critical of others because they look or act different. What really does a normal person look like. People need to realize and remember that any mishap or fatality could happen to them and how would they feel if people categorized and condemned them. It is really sad that people dont remember to treat everyone with love, compassion,dignity and respect as they would like to be treated.
• Philippines
1 Mar 09
I am not familiar with the show you're talking about but I do have a child with special needs. So I am always affronted when I hear stories where stupid people discriminate others just because they are "different". What bad parents those are who chose to complain instead of explaining to their kids how wonderful it is to have lots of differences in this world. Yes, they ARE overreacting!
1 Mar 09
In my opinion, when children are under 6, this is absolutely the best time to expose them to disability so they can grow up knowing that everyone is different. Nowadays, childrens reading schemes in schools include children with disabilites. I honestly do not understand why parents would have such a reaction. The most successful presenters are ones who are bubbly, enthusiastic and have a genuine way with children. Whether she has one hand or two makes absolutely no difference to her ability to present. In fact, I think this provides children with a really positive role model, they see she is doing fantastically well despite her disability. I think that some parents try to shelter their children from the world and in the long run this is not positive for the child.