I believe this is so important for our children. Compassion. How do you teach it? I truly believe Aviva was born with it. Maybe a bit of me has rubbed off with her. Aviva does not see difference in others. She may ask questions, but she wants to know.
A story to explain...Aviva was born preemie and for the the first three years of her life went through early intervention. At 3, she started the PLACE program here in S. Florida. It is a special education preschool and a terrific program. There is also Complex PLACE (CP) for children more involved (like autism). The was a little boy in CP who just loved Aviva. He was non-verbal, globally and developmentally delayed and born preemie too. He fell in love (best way to describe it) and wanted to always be with her. He would hit and push her, and Aviva never hit or pushed him back. He would grab her and Aviva did not grab back. They taught Aviva to tell him, _____ do not push, tap me. Or ______ hitting is not nice. And she did it with him. And it worked. Then one day Aviva had her whole braided and _____ did not recognize her and he acted out all day until his teacher realized why. And showed him that it was still Aviva. Over the summer he had a picture of the two of them during ESY (Aviva was not there). And he carried it around with him all summer long.
Aviva still talks about him and I would explain why he did not talk. And she goes, well that is why I helped him.
Now I never taught her this she did this all on her own. But I truly believe if children were like this what a different kind of world we would live in.