Wednesday, October 7, 2009

people first language

Get It Down; 31 for 21

Yet another thing I didn't know prior to Kira.
What is people first language? People first language is recognizing that a person is a person not a diagnosis.

So, it's "child with Down syndrome" not "Down's kid" or "Down's baby". It can seem like a bit of a mouthful, especially when I'm telling a story related to Ds. "Kids who have Down syndrome may have blah blah blah. Sometimes kids with Down syndrome might blah blah blah." But, at least to me, those extra words do make a difference. A subtle but definite difference.

Kira HAS Down syndrome she's not Down syndrome.

Similarly, Kira doesn't suffer from Down syndrome. She isn't afflicted with Down syndrome. She isn't succeeding despite Down syndrome.

She has brown eyes, blonde hair, a stubborn streak, an awesome sense of humor, and Down syndrome. And she's doing just fine.

Check out Kim's post for a great explanation of people first language.


  1. So important that we continue to reach out to people who just don't know. It makes sense once it's presented as you did. It drives me crazy when I hear, "My older brother is Down's" or something like that. Sometimes I don't feel it's the right time or place to correct it, but I'd like to! Cute pic of the kidlets.

  2. Wendy, your children are beautiful! Thanks for sharing your family.

  3. Did you happen to see Oprah yesterday. No PFL. Ugh. She actually said that a little girl "IS Down syndrome."

  4. Great post. Awesome reminder and info.
    And Kira looks so much like you in that picture! What a cutie!