Friday, July 8, 2011

Down Vs. Down's

It wasn't long ago that I posted a wonderful article on my Facebook page (which I had actually found on another mothers page). The Story was called A 4-Year-Old Ambassador. While I don't agree with the usage of the "R" word in this piece (or ever),  I did find  it to have a beautiful message that was quite inspiring. The article has the potential to create a huge impact on society-if only people would read it and pay attention to it's message. It tells us that our children are ambassadors, that they set the "standard" in the eyes of many. I believe that the same goes for us as parents. Like our children, we can make a great impact on those around us and we too have the potential to change the way that others view those who have intellectual disabilities. By properly educating ourselves and then those around us we ultimately are paving the way to a brighter, more beautiful and accepting future for our loved ones. That is why I want to share something from the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) with you. Its a small piece of information that provides a huge message.

The NDSS offers the below information on their site but I have posted it below to eliminate one extra step for you. I promise that reading this small piece of information will be well worth your time and I encourage you to also visit the NDSS site as well.

The proper use of language for “Down syndrome”: 
Down vs. Down’s - NDSS uses the preferred spelling, Down syndrome, rather than Down’s syndrome. While Down syndrome is listed in many dictionaries with both popular spellings (with or without an apostrophe s), the preferred usage in the United States is Down syndrome. This is because an “apostrophe s” connotes ownership or possession. Down syndrome is named for the English physician John Langdon Down, who characterized the condition, but did not have it. The AP Stylebook recommends using “Down syndrome,” as well.
People with Down syndrome should always be referred to as people first. Instead of “a Down syndrome child,” it should be “a child with Down syndrome.” Also avoid “Down’s child” and describing the condition as “Down’s,” as in, “He has Down’s.” 
• Down syndrome is a condition or a syndrome, not a disease. 
• People “have” Down syndrome, they do not “suffer from” it and are not “afflicted by” it. 
• While it is unfortunately clinically acceptable to say “mental retardation,” you should use the more socially acceptable “intellectual disability”.  NDSS strongly condemns the use of the word "retarded" in any derogatory context.  Using this word is hurtful and suggests that people with disabilities are not competent.  

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