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Dad, Mom, and baby Meghan

Dad, Mom, and baby Meghan

Meghan through the years

Meghan's age

Lilypie Kids birthday PicLilypie Kids birthday Ticker

Trisomy 21 trio of cuties

10 Things Every Child with Autism Wishes you knew

Sunday, October 18, 2009

31 for 21-day18- People first language


I made the above image for a t-shirt I sold to raise money for Kara's adoption.


Some phrases I hate to hear:
Oh, that was so retarded, what are you a retard? You must ride the short bus huh? Oh no, not another SPED...hey, you're in special ed huh?
People make fun of people all the time. I suppose the above phrases are good for comedy fodder, but I stopped laughing about them a while ago, probably almost 9 years ago, because before then, I just did not think before I opened my mouth. I was not the worse offender out there, but I was not exactly cognizant of the harm my words had on people with cognitive delays.

The difference between the right word and the almost right word
is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.
Mark Twain


The other day someone I love dearly said, "That is so retarded" and then turned around and apologized to me, saying they knew I did not like that. They do not acknowledge that it is not OK to say this, it is just not OK to say it in front of me. Sometimes I feel like I should just give up, after all, word usage and phraseology are pretty set in most people, but I refuse to stop trying.

I found this website a few years ago and read through it. I worked hard on myself and on the people around me, trying to be more respectful and kinder in our word usage. It is an uphill battle, believe me.
So many times at doctors offices I hear: "She is a Down's child" They say this with Meghan standing right there, as if she has no feelings or thoughts about being desribed that way. I do not think Kara or Amanda think much about it, but in their countries they were described as imbeciles. Or the therapists who say "All Downs children are..." they work with and see kids all day who have Down syndrome, and yet they use that terminology to describe them? I reply, yes, they HAVE Down syndrome, they are NOT Down syndrome. Yet when I see them again, they say it again, picture me beating my head into the wall.

I actually have about 80 of these postcards, I made them for Buddy Walk last year.

You may already get an inkling that I feel professionals who work with my children can be somewhat unkind and also dismissive of parents. NOT all of them are, some are wonderful people who we love dearly.

Still, many of them come across like this http://www.kidstogether.org/perspectives/whenaprofessionalsays.htm , read this web page and come back! :o)
We love our children, and the majority of parents do the best they can for all their children, admittedly our children who have learning delays can be harder to teach simple things, and we can get discouraged when we show them over and over and they still do not get it. To all the parents who do their best for their children, I offer this:

1 comment:

GoldenAngelsWorks said...

I really love the t-shirt design that you made. I would be honored to wear a shirt like that... but I would insist you add a picture of your girls to the back and have the caption "Miracles from God" under it! LOL

Beautiful artwork featuring children

Such a beautiful Video

I have a voice

Gifts video

WDSD