to think 'disabled' is not a negative label

(13 Posts)
megandraper Tue 12-Feb-13 16:05:10

Someone questioned me recently for considering applying for DLA for one of my children, because that would 'label' them as disabled.

I am disabled myself. I don't consider it a stigma.

Would you hate the idea of your child being labelled disabled? (as a separate issue from them actually 'being' disabled, I mean - obviously no-one would wish a physical or mental impairment upon their child.)

MrsRajeshKoothrappali Tue 12-Feb-13 16:07:46

Nah. Is just a word.

As long as they understand disability and what it is then I can't see why it would be a problem.

crashdoll Tue 12-Feb-13 16:18:54

I hate all labels as well as the categorization of people. The term 'disabled' has negative connotations and there is stigma. I don't feel it but many do. You only have to look at the way some disabled people are treated. I work with disabled people. In the last 4 months, 2 of my service users have been physically abused for 'looking different'. That's not including the ones who have been verbally abused. One lady is now too scared to get the bus. Her weekly trips to the shops were her only form of contact with the outside world, apart from me and her social worker.

crashdoll Tue 12-Feb-13 16:20:10

Just to add - I didn't mean negative connotations with regards to individuals but to how society views disabled people.

megandraper Tue 12-Feb-13 16:22:09

Yes, that is true crashdoll.

I suppose it makes me a bit sad that people's reaction to this is not 'Let's make that behaviour unacceptable' but 'Don't label my child disabled'

CMOTDibbler Tue 12-Feb-13 16:37:31

I don't like being called disabled, I am a person with a disability. Part of me, but not who I am iyswim.

But anyway, getting DLA is not something thats advertised to the world, so it would hardly label your dc

cory Tue 12-Feb-13 16:40:18

You can't get away from labels; it's how human society works. We all look at each other for expected behaviour and notice when it fails to materialise.

My dd can either be labelled "disabled" or "lazy and rude" when she doesn't get up for the headteacher - but there is no way HT is just going to shrug and say "heigh ho, just another child who doesn't do as she's told, well never mind".

Her friend on the autistic spectrum could either be labelled "boy with SN" or "boy who makes unkind and inappropriate remarks when he is old enough to know better"- the choice of not noticing his unusual behaviour isn't really there.

The mother of the 12yo who has a meltdown in the shopping centre probably prefers the label "SN" to any of the other possible choices.

The gentleman with Tourette's who used to go around my local area shouting swearwords wouldn't really have been any better off if locals hadn't realised he had SN and been able to explain to their children that he isn't really a rude and nasty man because he shouted a rude word at you.

Society views disabled people negatively. But that doesn't mean there is a high tolerance for people who just fail to comply with society's rules for unexplained reasons.

If you have SN bad enough to need a label, it won't magically disappear because you don't use the label. And people who are abused for looking different won't magically start looking the same as everybody else just because you are no longer using the word "disabled". (and the little shitheads who abuse them will continue to do so until the law does something about it)

Dd's paed told me repeatedly that she mustn't be allowed to use a wheelchair because "that will make her think of herself as disabled". I always wished for the courage to reply "so you don't think she might just notice anyway as she is crawling up the pavement on her hands and knees?"

fromparistoberlin Tue 12-Feb-13 16:42:08

well my Dad hates HATES it as a term. and he is disabled

its not the sexiest, but meh we need to call it something

manicinsomniac Tue 12-Feb-13 16:50:45

It can be used as an insult. My friend was once told she 'had a face like a disabled person'. She isn't disabled and we never worked out what was meant (she wasn't especially pretty or popular and I think it was just a nasty, bullying phrase thrown out with no thought)

As far as labels go, it's so hard. I've been told that you shouldn't use the term 'disabled person' as it sounds as if you think they are definied by their disability. But I've also been told you should use 'person with disability' as it makes it sound like their disability is something shameful that should be separated from them when it is what makes them who they are. Told both these things by disabled people. So I give up!

MaxPepsi Tue 12-Feb-13 17:22:16

I think you've hit the nail on the head there Manic.

Labels will always exist, both negative ones and positive ones.

The trouble is, finding one that everyone is happy with. Well that is never going to happen. What one person finds acceptable another finds offensive.

Andro Tue 12-Feb-13 17:32:02

This is something I've found varies from person to person, I know one person who is beyond gifted at their job but unable to walk. She is very clear about the fact that her physical incapacity does not make her less than able - it just changes how she does things. I'm not about to argue with her!

What some people see as an offensive/insulting label, others see as a convenient descriptive...that's life.

mrsjay Tue 12-Feb-13 17:36:07

I don't like being called disabled, I am a person with a disability. Part of me, but not who I am iyswim.

^ ^ that. I do say sometimes on here i am disabled because a person with a disability is to long winded but that is how i see myself, saying that it is a word and for things like dla etc etc it is a word that needs to be used, not all people with a disability are the same though

CloudsAndTrees Tue 12-Feb-13 17:40:37

My ds has AS. I would not allow him to be called disabled, because he isn't. i dont like the term disabled personally. It implies that someone who has a disability can barely do anything, and thats just not the case, certainly not with my ds. Differently able maybe, but he isn't disabled.

I know people who have disabilities that can do lots of things I can't do, so I don't even think the word is even accurate. For some reason the word 'disability' doesn't seem to be to be as negative as 'disabled'.

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