Person First Language

When we are kids, we learn the proper ways to describe someone, things and actions. It's ingrained in our brains from early years. 

Then there are the words our society now makes up as their own types of verbs. I am not saying this to have another R word post. I am talking about Person First Language. 

This is by far a hard concept to get used to for a lot of people. I can only believe it's because we are conditioned to speak in other ways maybe or maybe some people just don't see the logic behind this structure of language. 

What ever the reason, here are a few examples and why it's kind of A BIG DEAL to a parent of a child with special needs. 

-As a Down syndrome baby, she isn't expected to....what ever...

What's wrong with this statement, you might ask?

Where do I start? Referring to someone as a WHATEVER baby infers that the diagnosis defines them. Now I know that some of my hillbilly family friends in my native land will say that I am being too technical and making a big deal outta nothing. When you have a child with limitations placed on them before they are even born, EVERYTHING is a big deal. You want to make sure your kid has all the opportunity in the world and if it means you have to correct a few lazy tongues, then so be it. 

-You know, LB, the downs girl. 

She is just a girl. Not a downs girl. Downs isn't right either, while we are at it. But that's for another time. She is a 2 year old girl. She is not DOWNS. 

-He's Autistic. 

I'm guilty of this one. I am still learning about the proper use of describing Autism and the entire spectrum disorder. However, he is just a boy/man. Not a posterboard for Autism. 

Catchin my drift here?

Until next time..


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