Posts tagged Awareness
Why People First Language Is So Important

What is “People First Language” and what does it mean? People First Language refers to the individual first instead of their diagnosis. For instance, you would say, “Charlie has Down syndrome,” NOT “The Down syndrome kid, Charlie.” People First Language eliminates stereotypes, generalizations and assumptions about individuals, instead making the conversation about that person versus making it about their diagnosis. All people with Down syndrome are not alike, just like all people who have Autism are not alike. They each have their own personalities and characteristics making them, you guessed it, an individual.

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When Being "You" is a Form of Activism

You know what’s ice cold these days? The newest trend since goths vs. jocks? Being yourself! The art of self-promotion is palpable; just look on social media. Everyone is selling a version of themselves; the more unique, the more dope. Many people with disabilities also develop and embrace an innate sense of self. My son and many kids and adults I’ve met with an extra chromosome love who they are. They truly are dope! The problem is they’re often not allowed to be themselves and still fit in. The trend doesn’t extend to them.

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Dear Doctor

When we had Alice, all of the doctors in the hospital were incredibly negative with us. They told us that she had Down syndrome in a very depressing way. They did not congratulate us. They told us they were sorry. They acted like it was the end of the world for us. I would have given anything in that moment for one sliver of hope... but the doctors didn't give it.

As I've met and talked to so many other moms of kids with Down syndrome, I realize that 99% of them had the same experience. This is wrong, and it needs to stop.

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Everyone Has A Voice

"This is a common misconception about all kids with disabilities, that they can’t or won’t learn, especially if they are non-verbal. When the most amazing teacher came in to the FLS class last year, she saw these kids as who they really were, and within one year of this new teacher, every single kid in the class grew leaps and bounds. Julia, who also has Down syndrome and had never been able to communicate now was pointing to “yes” and “no” cards, and making decisions for herself. That gave her so much confidence that she soon became the sassiest teenager I’ve ever met, sneaking out of the room when no one was looking and licking folders when she didn’t want to do her class job. But the biggest change was in Josue.”

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