I had a little girl look at me and then turn to her mom and say "Look mommy, that man aint got no legs!" The mom then promptly did this... Nothing. Still have to thank my gf at the time... I was gonna smack that little girl with my non existent legs!
this brings up a point worth discussing. first, you can't blame a child for curiosity, period. when a child see's something new, they're trying to understand it...whether an amputee or a homeless person.
that being said, i have had similar experiences. being a young man in a power chair, i draw a decent amount of attention from children, which i have no problem with. however, in a few situations, children have pointed me out, asked about me, or have simply been staring. this is fine with me. but, following the action of the child, the parents scolded them for their intetest. this is a problem for me. though some might think this is the appropriate response, it is not for three reasons.
first, by doing this, the parent is subconciously saying one thing: i am different. yes, i am. however, the parent making the distinction, that i am off limits (for looking or talking about), is an extension of the parents view of disabled people. It exacerbates the stigma of a "disability." The parent has drawn a distinct line between me and the rest of the people in the store, discriminating without knowing. The child is allowed to comment on everyone else without repercussion. But, by scolding the child, the parent is basically saying, that person in the wheelchair is in a different catagory. They aren't a normal (like everyone else in the store the child can talk about).
second, this action greatly inffluences the child. it isn't just a reflection of the parents, but it also teaches the child that i am off limits, as if taboo. this child will grow believing the same thing: we belong in different catagories.
third, why is disability taboo? it shouldn't be. until people are comfortable talking about it, talking to their kids about it, things will be stagnent. we're the largest minority (paradoxical, i know) in the world but are still overlooked and forgotten. honestly, i never thought about disability rights, accessibility, etc., until after i got injured. the topic never came up in school, at home, amongst friends, it honestly seems taboo.
i realize this rant seems out of place but its been on my mind a while, glad i could get it out. my main point is that these situations with children (our future) are a perfect oppurtunity to teach. to correct the parents idf neccesary. to speak to the child on behalf of the disability community (likely being one of the few disabled people the childs seen) and start killing the taboo.