Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Lingo

There is a steep learning curve when you are suddenly thrust into being a parent of a child with special needs. One aspect of this has been learning the lingo that is accepted in this community.

Today is "Spread the Word to End the Word" Day. The word: "Retard"

So, I'm spreading the word.

Please, don't EVER use the R word - it's old and it's hurtful. Instead, use mentally/intellectually/emotionally disabled or challenged.

A couple of other things I've learned. Instead of saying Nate is a Downs child or Down Syndrome child, a better way is to say he is a child with Down Syndrome. Down Syndrome does not define who he is (although I may feel like it does at this point), but is a part of his make-up. (A very old and ugly term used for people with Down Syndrome is Mongoloid - yuck!!!)

And when describing Cody, the accepted term is "typical" versus "normal".

So, I beg you....help your families and friends to begin to use terminology that is more sensitive so that when Nate is older, he won't have to hear those words.


1 comment:

  1. Wow! Thanks Danielle. Sometimes it's awkward to ask these questions, but I'm glad you put this out there. Your willingness to be so candid and educate us is appreciated.
    -erika p