Sunday, October 23, 2011

Lesson from my kids

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Two years ago we happened to have the privilege to be involved with the Special Olympics World Winter Games.

Our girls were 2 and 4 at the time, and they LOVED it.

They were so involved, and admired all the athletes. A lot of them had Down syndrome.

My girls really adored the athletes, and wanted to be just like them.
My 4 year old had noticed they were a little 'different', as we found out months later, 
but she didn't see that as a negative thing at all.

Admiring the gold medal of one of the athletes.

That is such a great lesson. 
I wish that everybody would see the person first, and their capacities, rather than look at the limitations someone might have.

I know a lot of parents of kids with Down syndrome are sort of offended when their kids are referred to as "Down syndrome babies" or "Down syndrome children". They would prefer the following: "Babies with Down syndrome" or "Children with Down syndrome". 
Putting the person first, rather than the syndrome.

Personally, I don't have too many issues with the way people phrase things. 
I think the intention matters much more than how people say it. 
If they mean well, I don't get offended too easily.
But since not everyone feels the same, I thought I'd mention it...

But I love the lesson from my little girls: admire the PERSON first :)

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1 comment:

Heidi Ehle said...

I agree. I don't stress so much about the people first language as long as the person saying it doesn't seem to mean it in a harmful way. For a whole lot of my family and friends, Liddy is their first up close and personal encounter with DS. That includes us. We're not perfect. But that's ok. We love our baby girl for who she is! :)
So glad your kids had this opportunity!