There have been so many positive stories in the news lately surrounding Down syndrome – from Tim’s Place, the restaurant run by an individual with Down syndrome to the mother making dolls that have the features of a child with Down syndrome. It’s an exciting time with great awareness.
However, I still see so many people using the terminology incorrectly. I know it’s not meant out of hate, so consider this my plea to all in using the words correctly.
My Daughter Is Not….
Molly is not a Down syndrome child. She isn’t a Down’s child. She isn’t handicapped. She is not a special needs child. She’s not always happy. She doesn’t have a disease, trust me – you can’t catch it. And she certainly isn’t retarded.
My Daughter Is…
My Molly is a child with Down Syndrome. She has Down syndrome. She is a child with special needs. She’s funny. She has a personality, a temper and a fantastic laugh. She runs, plays and even goes to “typical” school. She’s a child that deserves respect and love just like any other child – regardless of how many chromosomes she may possess.
This Thursday, March 21st is World Down Syndrome Day. The day symbolizes the third copy of the 21st chromosome in people with Down syndrome…. such as my little Molly.
I encourage you to share these tips of using people first language and help change the stereotypes. Let’s work together to empower those around us and use people first language everyday!