Words and phrases that make me want to scream

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    Feel free to add your own!

    Handicap. One only needs to recognize the word's origins to under its offensiveness. Cap in hand. Nope. I've tried to convince our local Special Ed Consortium to stop qualifying kids for Special Ed based on their 'handicapping condition', but they just roll their eyes at me. Sigh.

    Calling autism a mental illness. It's not. It may seem contradictory to say this, since I also find the stigmitization of mental illness unfortunate, but let's be clear. Autism is a developmental disorder, not an illness of any kind.

    Saint. As in you're such a saint for taking care of your child. In the first place, such drek usually is coming from the mouth of a Mom whose kid is out in my front yard hacking at my rose bushes or doing something equally annoying. Since I am sure this child has many fine qualities, I resist the urge to tell her I'd be tempted to drop her kid off at the foot of a mountain. And of course, if we were my kid, I wouldn't dream of dropping him off at the foot of a mountain. We love our children and do everything we can for them, just like parents of typical kids. Why is that so hard for certain people to 'get'?

    Stricken. Afflicted. Suffers. Whatever. How about the words 'has autism' or whatever they have, and you leave your personal judgment out of it?

    In the past couple weeks, I have seen people in another thread express opinions that it is ever appropriate to suggest an out of home placement to a mother who hasn't asked for your opinion on the topic, heard a Speech Therapist call in to a radio show and talk about the handicapped kids she works with, and talked to a Special Education teacher who made a joke about insanity in the family of a child with a mental health dx. Honestly, I don't expect Joe Q. Public to be enlightened, but it would sure be nice if those who claim to be professionals acted a bit more aware at times.
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    When people say "blank blank people" instead of "people with blank blank"

    Example, learning disabled people instead of people with learning disabilities. Don't know why for sure, it just bothers me.

    Also don't like the word crippled. I realize that older people use this term, but i hear people younger than me using it also.
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    Ladies -

    Please check out www.disabilityisnatural.com (PFL)

    Perhaps this may help you with your discussion with others as it has helped me. Just as autism is unfortunate, I guess you could call Mental Illness a genetic disorganization of brain cells which afflicts on a developmental basis. Has there been a genetic cause for autism found? Which is worse - genetics or developmental or does genetic preclude developmental disorders? Question for the Creator at the People Factory....
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    We love our children and do everything we can for them, just like parents of typical kids. Why is that so hard for certain people to 'get'?
    I think what might be hard to get is that raising typical kids is hard enough as it is. If that makes any sense.
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    Oh yeah, crippled. Add that to my list, too. Several months ago, someone at work told me a story about a mother who had called and said her child's ped had referred her to the California Crippled Children's Society. The name of this program was changed in the 1970s to California Children Services. That's how up to date this guy is. Oy. hbcn, to me, it doesn't have anything to do with something be 'worse' than another. It is just that misusing terms like illness to describe a spectral disorder that can't be treated the way an illness would does no one any favors. And since genetics quite often (though by no means always) play a role in developmental disorders, I don't understand what you're driving at with your question.
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    Hey Mercy,

    All I am trying to convey is that it doesn't matter if it is a disorder or an illness or developmental or genetic, NO ONE should be put down, demoralized or discriminated against based on a God given situation.
    It is hard enough to deal with the problem, than have to deal with someone else's insensitivity to it. If we could only support each other without necessarily having to understand everything about it first.
    Maybe NASA can find that on another planet? I'll go there..........HB
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    ...I don't like the phone calls from organizations who use the term "deserving children". As in give a donation so they can have a party or whatever for "deserving children". Are there "undeserving" children trying to bust the door down and get in?
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    Quote from hbncns35
    Ladies -

    Please check out www.disabilityisnatural.com (PFL)

    Perhaps this may help you with your discussion with others as it has helped me. Just as autism is unfortunate, I guess you could call Mental Illness a genetic disorganization of brain cells which afflicts on a developmental basis. Has there been a genetic cause for autism found? Which is worse - genetics or developmental or does genetic preclude developmental disorders? Question for the Creator at the People Factory....
    I meant to tell you that the website is great. We distribute 'People First' language brochures at presentations and health fairs where I work. I am considering taking the Partners in Policymaking e-course. When it first came out, some parents I know took it through San Diego State, and State has talked about offering it again, but it would be really hard for me to devote that amount of time to a campus course.
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    Quote from mercyteapot
    We love our children and do everything we can for them, just like parents of typical kids. Why is that so hard for certain people to 'get'?
    DD #2 has a stepson with CP and a son with spina bifida. And she has a daughter and another son with learning disabilities. She and I have talked at length about the perceptions (and misperceptions) others have about anyone with differences.

    We've come to the conclusion that people who see the parents of special needs kids as saints don't understand that you rise to the challenge incrementally. They know they couldn't step into my daughter's role and carry her current load, and it overwhelms them to even think about doing so. What they don't get is that ten years ago, she couldn't have done what she is doing today either. Her capablities grew with her kids' needs.

    They also don't understand that when it's your kid, you see the child first and then the physical condition. For them, it's just the opposite and it does make a difference.

    As for the terminology, I don't see any easy answers. I do hate the word crippled. In our family, crippled has become short-hand for pathetic and pitiful and reeking of cheap sentimentality. Joseph (the 9 yo with spina bifida) will try to play the "poor little crippled boy" routine on people who don't know him till his mom tells him to knock it off. He doesn't see his inability to walk as devastating. To him it's more of an annoyance. He and his 6 yo brother have always gotten into plenty of trouble. He's the brains of the operation and the little guy is the brawn.

    Disabled is less offensive to me so long as it's focused on the actual disability and not used to discount the entire person.

    Handicapped is more offensive than disabled. And it just sounds outdated.

    I guess we're guilty of using "CP kids" or "spina bifida kids" or"wheelchair kids" or "special needs kids" but it's really a pain in the butt to always make a point of saying it the "right" way and I HATE political correctness with a passion.

    One final note and then I'll stop rambling. Whenever someone reacts badly to my daughter disciplining one of her special needs boys, she says, "If he turns out to be a brat, that'll be a much bigger problem than sitting in a wheelchair." A few take offense, but most laugh. Before you know it, they start seeing a real kid in that chair.
    annaedRN likes this.
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    I hate pointless PC, too, but it isn't all pointless. If the 'point' is that some terms respect people and some terms don't (such as handicapped, suggesting that people with disabilities are all beggars, grrrrrrrr....), then it isn't actually a matter of being politically correct, but of not making an offensive remark. For this reason, I personally don't object to the term 'autistic' (as long as it is used as an adjective and not a noun), even though People First language would recommend 'person with autism'. On another active allnurses thread, I just read a post from someone who said she works with 'the' mentally/developmentally challenged. That term makes no sense to me. There isn't just one group of mentally/developmentally challenged people who all live and receive their care in one place. To use the term 'the' implies that there is. To me, the appropriate term would be people with mental or developmental challenges... not just because it is PC, but because it makes sense. I try not to take offense where I suspect none is intended, but OTOH, I think it is incumbent upon healthcare providers to make efforts to consider how what they say may be interpreted by their patients and families.


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