A Mother’s Plea for People First Language #downsyndrome #WDSD2013

by Carrie with Children with 10 comments

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.

Molly Riding Dumbo 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.

Molly Driving the Car

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!


  • Mary McLean

    Very well said and entirely true about Molly. She is a special and loved child.

    • Carrie with Children

      Thank you! She is definitely a loved little girl!

  • Cassie

    Thank you for sharing this Carrie! Sometimes it is hard as a parent to explain to your kids about why kids are different. I love how you explain things in which my mind for some reason was not able to express to Chloe when she ask about her friend Paige on her bus.

    • Carrie with Children

      Thank you, Cassie! So glad that my words expressed how you were feeling too! Yay for awareness!

  • Kathleen

    Beautifully said. Unfortunately, the world will always be full of people who act out of ignorance because they don’t know better or don’t care to learn better. Your daughter is a beautiful child and if there is one thing I hate, it is when children are labeled. My oldest is labeled ADHD, my second oldest is labeled dyslexic. They are not these things, these things do not define them, they are simply challenges they must deal with. You are one blessed mom.

    • Carrie with Children

      Thanks so much for your nice note, Kathleen! I agree with you – I don’t like seeing children labeled either. I know you must be proud of your two great kids, just as I am proud of my Molly! I appreciate you reading!

  • Adrienne

    She’s beautiful! Our children are not defined by their needs. Well said! I stopped by from the Mom it Forward Facebook page. Nice to meet you!

    • Carrie with Children

      Thanks so much for reading, Adrienne! I appreciate it!