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"The disabled girl can climb" comment. Would you bother flagging this?

(37 Posts)
Thomcat Wed 10-Sep-08 19:55:20

One of DD1's school mates (who knows her well, they are in same class and have been for just over 3 yrs now) came up to me in the playground and said "Your little disabled girl can climb". I said "X, her name is Charlotte, don't refer to her as disabled please, use her name".

I was thinking I might put a little note in her daily link book that flagged it, in a non-naming way to her teacher to say something along the lines of if they hear her being referred to as the disabled girl or similar that children should be gently reminded to use her name and not refer to her in that way.

Or is it best left?

Was I unfair to ask a 6 yr old, who will be 7 to not refer to her a 'the disabled child' and to use her name.

I get that mummy must have just used the word to explain why DD1 is a bit different and finds things a bit harder etc. But I don't want a label to suddenly stick to her.

dustystar Wed 10-Sep-08 19:59:01

I don't see what's wrong with mentioning it to the teacher or with asking the girl to use her name.

Tclanger Wed 10-Sep-08 19:59:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Cappuccino Wed 10-Sep-08 20:04:51

dd1 is v proud to call herself disabled and would be v pleased if every other child knew what it was. she gets annoyed when she tells people she is disabled and they don't understand what it means

there are worse words that they could use

I get the wanting to call her by her name, but to suggest that disabled is the wrong word is confusing. If she is disabled it isn't a label, is it? it's the correct term (atm at least)

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Wed 10-Sep-08 20:19:32

I would flag it. Communication is essential. And for a child in her class she should be referred to by name. Different if it was someone not in daily contact with her.

I think when your child has learning difficulties you have to be a bit more conservative on what you 'allow' as your child isn't necessarily going to be in the position of having a choice to have an opinion about how they are referred to.

Thomcat Wed 10-Sep-08 20:24:25

Hmmm yes, perhaps i shouldn't have said 'don't refer to her as disabled'. As you say there is nothing wrong with being disabled and so nothing wrong with using the word. I just don't want children defining her by her disability. I want them to think of her as Charlotte first and foremost and not really see or think about her being disabled. Perhaps that's naive of me?

Thomcat Wed 10-Sep-08 20:26:25

Took ages to post as am cooking dinner at the same time.
Thanks JimJams. Think you're spot on.

Just spoke to DP about it all and read him posts and he thinks flagging it is a good idea too.

coppertop Wed 10-Sep-08 20:29:12

I think writing a note in her book is a good idea.

MannyMoeAndJack Wed 10-Sep-08 20:32:38

I would say something because to me, 'your little disabled girl' sounds very patronising (although the girl who spoke the words is probably too young to know that!) because your dd is referred to in the third person, instead of the first. Your dd's name is a big part of her identity and I would say it is more important than her disability.

twocutedarlings Wed 10-Sep-08 20:35:01

Not you atall TC!! you were right to ask this little girl to call your DD by her name. She is Charlotte first, lets face it would be totally non PC to say your black girl.

I Personally think its so wrong to discribe someone by there disability, it may just be a pet hate of mine, but when i seen people say my ASD DC or AS DC or DS DC ......whatever it really winds me.

Twiglett Wed 10-Sep-08 20:35:23

flag it!

Thomcat Wed 10-Sep-08 20:43:42

Thank you.

Twiglett Wed 10-Sep-08 20:54:38

sorry TC that was terse .. just would want the teacher to address it .. and if my kid had come out with that terminology I'd probably swing him round by his ears point out the error of his ways (not that he would)

r3dh3d Wed 10-Sep-08 20:59:58

I would mention it ... but ...

It's not entirely clear to me what she meant. Did she mean "your <label not person> can climb"? Or did she mean "Look, people with disabilities can climb too. Cool!"?

I'd tend to the second reading. But then I'm desperate to see good intentions in everyone. blush. You were there. Feel free to ignore me!

Cappuccino Wed 10-Sep-08 21:02:59

agree with r3dh3d tho

it's great when people are surprised by what dd1 can do smile

fairygirl3 Wed 10-Sep-08 21:28:40

agree with the last two posts,she probably said that because she was refering to an activity that she may of thought many people with a disability cant do.She has probably had it explained to her that people with disabilities may have certain limitations,so was suprised and thats why the label (disability)came before her name. .Eg,if this child was inviting your dd to a party do you think she would of said "can your disabled daughter come to my party" or do you think the term was just used because it had relevance to the activity she was talking about.Not excusing what was said just dont want you worrying to much that yr dd is being refered to in thatway I dont think any malice was intentended at that age i think a child would be to scared/worried about saying that to aN adult if they knew it was wrong/nasty etc.Have you asked your daughter how she feels other people treat her ? I dont think it would do any harm talking to teacher about it and may help prevent any further incidents.

ChacunaSonGout Wed 10-Sep-08 21:44:47


I am surprised tbh

DS is 5 has a little girl who has downs syndrome in his class . There is also a little boy with Autism and another little boy with special needs who is in a wheelchair

He does not refer to any of them by anything but their names

He would not use the term special needs or disabled

Re your dd i think i might just have an after school word to the teacher - just tell her what was said and she may think it is worth having a word with children if she hears it said again

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Wed 10-Sep-08 21:44:48

"Have you asked your daughter how she feels other people treat her ?"

This was my point though. You can't really do that very easily when a child has LD's especially a young child with LD's. I very much doubt I'll ever be able to have that conversation with my son. Which is why you have to be perhaps over-cautious, because you're the only one who can decide where the line needs to be drawn.

I think flagging it (giving the teacher a chance for a class talk etc) is wise. I have these sorts of conversations with ds2 and ds3. I just see it as teaching about other people etc.

mabanana Wed 10-Sep-08 23:55:14

Personally (and I do have a disabled child - ASD) I would have undestood the child to mean 'isn't she clever, even though she is disabled she can climb really well', so the reference to her being disabled was properly relevant.
If she'd said 'Charlotte can climb' it would have a different meaning - without the element of 'wow'.
I really don't think it means she doesn't think of her as a person. It sounds to me as if the little girl was proud of her classmate overcoming difficulties, though at the same time I can totaly understand why you were taken aback.

mabanana Wed 10-Sep-08 23:58:11

I see I have echoed a couple of other people - not trying to copy!

TopBitch Thu 11-Sep-08 06:25:10

I agree with oyu wholeheartedly, mabanana (and the other posters who said similar).

wehaveallbeenthere Thu 11-Sep-08 06:50:17

Yes, I agree with mabanana also (also have a disabled child). I would think that the child who approached you was without malice but may have been flustered. I've had some adults lose names too. People tend to get that way when the subject has anything to do with someone else's child, especially one they know to have a handicap.
It won't hurt anything to mention it to the teacher though. It sounds like your child has a potential friend though that shares the joy of climbing.

sarah293 Thu 11-Sep-08 07:58:57

Message withdrawn

hecate Thu 11-Sep-08 08:07:06

Was about to make that very post, Riven! grin

And the answer of course is no it wouldn't be acceptable at all.

I HATE it when people talk about our children as though the disabilities that they have are who they are.

sarah293 Thu 11-Sep-08 08:11:17

Message withdrawn

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