Thursday, September 18, 2008


PC, or politically correct. How does that apply to Brayden? I was talking with a friend yesterday, whose daughter has special needs. She just went to a workshop for disability advocacy (I do not remember the official title). One of the topics was language and changing the language we use to describe disability or handicap.

To be honest, I have no idea what words to use. Sometimes we say Brayden is handicap, special needs, developmental delay, severe and multiple handicaps. It always depends on who we are talking to. I have no idea what is PC to describe my child. Frankly, I am not sure I care. I am aware that it could be an issue but for right now, I do not know what to think about it. Brayden’s conditions are not easy to describe and that random person in the store just wants a quick answer not his medical history. His medical history is barely understood by doctors.

Sometimes I need people to know that Brayden is handicap and he requires extra help. We have a child with special needs and we need special accommodations to make his world work for him.

Many words can be harmful but it seems more about the context in which they are used. “My son is handicap.” “Oh, look at that handicap!” Same word, different context.

Speaking of PC, I saw an interesting segment on TV this week. I would have never paid a bit of attention to until we had Brayden. A large shopping center here in Northern VA, is Tysons Corner; a mecca of shopping. The mall is trying to promote “green” living and created spaces for hybrid cars. Priveledged parking for those driving the “green” vehicles. Sounds like a great idea. The reason it made the news was not because of promoting “green” practices it was because of the location of these new parking spots. Several of the spots were clearly once handicap parking spaces. You can see where the painted handicap sign on the pavement was covered. Some of the spaces are closer to the handicap ramp to get up to the sidewalk and closer to the mall entrances. Interesting…I know that being “green” is great but over the handicap? Which is more PC?

I have probably offended the PC people of the world.


Domestic Executive said...

Thanks for taking the time to stop by my blog on the BATW flight to New Zealand.

I love your blog - your honesty, your hopes, your fears and your frustrations.

Having worked in the public sector communications it was sometimes hard to work out what is the right language to use disabled people or is it with people with disabilities. It seemed to change with the change in Governments.

It seems to me that Brayden is a child that is just special.

Oh, and good on you for replying to the person who grumbled about your advantageous parking spot.

Debbie said...

That is truly unbelievable. I mean truly disgusting.