DOWN SYNDROME AWARENESS MONTH // people first language

From the day Lindie girl was born, I began to fear what people would say. I wasn't born with thick skin, but with the help of the Lord I am learning to let go of the fear of others words and he is making my skin thicker with time. (Not saying I have it all down, but I'm making progress).

One of the things I am learning is People First Language, which is basically "good manners" when it comes to talking about people with disabilities. I hadn't thought about how I talk about people with disabilities before little Lindie was born, but now it rings loud and clear. So I thought I'd share a couple basic things to consider when talking about people with Down syndrome:
  • First, it's Down syndrome, not Down's syndrome. At least as long as you live in the US. 
  • A person has Down syndrome, they're not a "Down's person" or a "Down's baby" or "Downs." Lindie is not a "Down's baby". She doesn't have "Downs." She has Down syndrome. 
  • "Mental retardation" is a term that is out of date. The "R" word has been used way out of context and care. Lindie has a cognitive delay or intellectual disability.
  • Definitely, defintely, defintely don't use the "R" word. If you do, apologize. If it's a habit, change it. 
For more helpful information on People First Language, go here!


Also, I'm participating in a month long blogging campaign in honor of Down syndrome awareness month called #31for21. Check out the other bloggers participating HERE.

And unrelated, but because they're delicious, go right now and make THESE COOKIES. They're seriously the best fall cookies ever! And they make your kitchen smell!


Mackenzie Oakley said...

So important to educate on this topic! We've even come across medical professionals (doctors and nurses) who have referred to Baker as "a Downs baby". It rubs me the wrong way every time!

Adelaide Dupont said...

I learnt it the British way, except in reading American and Canadian books.

In France it is Trisomy 21 or you turn it around to say it the French way, as I did when I wrote "Allliance Trisomie", my romantic novel from 2010.

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