7th January 2000 at 00:00
SUPPORTING A CHILD WITH A DISFIGUREMENT, A TEACHER'S GUIDE. Changing Faces, booklets pound;3 each, modules free

It's rude to stare. But a child with a facial disfigurement can appear strange. So how do you and your class learn to relate to a pupil with congenital or acquired disfigurement? This teacher's guide is a series of short, photocopiable modules of stapled sheets written in response to teachers' questions and concerns, with a wealth of sensitivity and insight into disfigurement and the feelings it may arouse.

Published by Changing Faces, a charity founded in 1992 to support disfigured people, the guidance begins from the moment your pupil starts school, with classroom strategies and ideas for practical support to bolster social skills, self-esteem and self-expression, address medical needs, deal with teasing and bullying and, later, to think about careers.

Teaches can order from a list of 12 free modules, stating the key stage they teach. Two short booklets of a dozen pages are also available, giving a fuller guide to facial disfigurement and information for managing children returning to school with burn injuries.

The booklets are packed with practical suggestions: how to help a pupil with ready answers to the inevitable curiosity from peers; how the class can explore attitudes to disfigurement; how to create a supportive atmosphere when the pupil is coming to terms with a changed image.

The poignant quote, "I'd never met anyone with a disfigurement until I met my son", reminds us that shock - even revulsion - may surround disfigured children who need a haven where they can learn to present themselves to the world as a person, not a "look".

Changing Faces, 1 and 2 Junction Mews, London W2 1PN. Tel: 020 7706 4232

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