The Hailey Herald

The Hailey Herald

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

What Not to Say

I'm writing this post as part of the weekly blog hop Meriah at With a Little Moxie.  Today's topic:  what have people said that has gotten under your skin about something that relates to your connection with disability - and what do you want them to say instead?

I'm going to be 100% honest...before we had Hailey, I know I said things that weren't appropriate, I know I didn't put person first and I said the "r" word.  I'm not going to make any excuses for myself.  There is none.  I am grateful that I have learned more over the last year than I have over the last 10.  One very important lesson I have learned, is people first...every child, every person comes first...not their disability or their diagnosis.  They have the same thoughts and feelings as others and deserve to be treated as you would want treated or how you would want your child treated.  

Well now back to the topic on hand...what not to say:

  • R-word.  Please stop and think before you use it.  Find another word...stupid, dumb, ignorant.  Use a thesaurus if you are at a lost.  Think of any other word!!!!  
  • "Special" parents...I'm not special.  I'm an ordinary Midwest mom raising her three children.  If I am special, it isn't the reason God gave us Hailey...Hailey has made me special.  There is no explanation to why certain children are born with disabilities and others are not.  I am certain it is not because I am "special".  
  • "She is here to teach us how to live life"...Hailey was not put on this world to be your teacher anymore than my boys were put here to teach us things.  That is a huge weight for such a little girl to bear, don't you think.  My daughter is here to live her life to the fullest and that is just what she is going to do!  If she teaches us stuff along the way, that is just a bonus.  
  • I'm sorry...don't ever apologize for my daughter.  I'm not sorry about her.  Does her diagnosis bum me out sometimes?  Yes, but Down syndrome is part of her.  If she didn't have Down syndrome, she wouldn't be Hailey.  
  •  Down's kid, Down syndrome kid, kids like them...Would you call a child with cancer, "the cancer kid"?  Would you say "blind kid", "dumb kid"?  How would you want your child spoken to or about?  She is a child first...yes, she has Down syndrome.  So please refer to her and her pals with extra chromosome as a child with Down syndrome.  Or don't even mention it at all...she's just Hailey.
 I know most people do not mean to hurt anyone's feelings...they do not intend on offending anyone.  There are so many other things you can say that will make any mom happy!  You can always comment how beautiful she is, how smart she is, how beautiful her eyes are, how adorable her dimples are, how much she looks like her big brothers...the list goes on!

If you have questions about Hailey or Down syndrome, please feel free to ask.  I always welcome an opportunity to pass along valid information about Down syndrome. case you didn't pick up on it, I am very proud of my little girl and love to talk about her!  (These are all repeats but cute none the less!)



  1. Heck yeah! That first picture of Hailey still kills me!

  2. Excellent post, loved everything you said in here!