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Person First Language

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  • Person First Language

    I browse these forums inconsistently, especially this one but after reading a few threads I wanted to make a suggestion. In a few threads a person is described as his/her disorder/health condition, such as an someone who suffered a stroke or an autistic child.

    Working with various individuals on fieldworks (clinicals as I am an occupational therapy student) and a registered NARHA instructor, I just want you to think twice before writing a person as his/her disorder. I know it is quick and the internet, but it means a lot to other individuals by addressing them with person first language, as a person who had a stroke or a child with autism. The person is always placed before the disorder/health condition, etc.

    Just some food for thought!

  • #2
    That has been brought up before and most adhere to it.
    It is good, as you did, to keep reminding people of the important difference between how we may see an autistic person, compared with a person with autism, or any other difference.

    Most people tend to become careless in their manners of speech, so we also have to understand when they are not as PC about what they post, as we wish they were.

    Comment


    • #3
      Please feel free to remind me if you catch me lapsing in that regard. Although I'm not picky about the semantics used when describing me and my health problems, I realize the significance of "putting the person first" is very important to others.

      Just because I don't care one way or another when people are talking about me doesn't mean I should be a prat to people who do care, so please do remind me if I need it!

      Maybe I can blame the fibrofog <whistles innocently>
      "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
      -Edward Hoagland

      Comment


      • #4
        Thank you.

        I will go back to describing myself as the "Fat Chick Running Around the Yard in Her Nightgown".

        Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
        Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
        -Rudyard Kipling

        Comment


        • #5
          ROFL at the last post.............hey, we could be twins!
          BUT, I always have my boots on with the nightgown.....makes for a much better fashion statement

          Comment


          • #6
            it seems awkward to always have to use the language "person with XXXX condition" just to be so called politically correct, especially, when even on this board, people self identify as "I am an autistic savant" or "I am a dyslexic" and so on.

            I get so confused. What's the difference between saying "I am a cancer patient" and "I am a person with cancer" ?

            And another one here who has just fed the horses in a nightgown, sweat pants and runners- we should form a clicque.
            "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF

            Comment


            • #7
              While I am in agreement in general with the OP, I do get tired of PC-speak. If it is correct to say "I am a person with cancer", then it should also be extended to "I am a person who is Caucasian," and "I am a person who has brunette hair." We can get too caught up in PC-speak and lose the message.

              Perhaps use the "I am a person who..." as gentle reminder to someone who is so caught up in his/her problem that the reminder is needed; otherwise, let semantic sleeping dogs lie.
              My Equestrian Art Photography page

              Comment


              • #8
                I don't think that comparing disabilities to cancer is correct in this instance, unless you are a Dr talking to the nurse and referring about a patient as "the cancer case", not Mr Soandso.

                The reason people are asked to be PC when talking about those with disabilities is not because of the one talking, but about showing that we understand the difference between their individual being and whatever disability is part of them.

                There are times that being PC is stretching into annoying, other times is maybe the right way to be polite to others.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I don't think that comparing disabilities to cancer is correct in this instance
                  oh great, now I have to think of not only doing it the long PC way, but ALSO, figure out which conditions it is not appropriate for!

                  You are not helping BLuey! Maybe you can make me a list.

                  I think most annoying are people who need to judge others and dictate a rigid code of conduct, instead of just allowing folks to judge the situation for themselves.

                  If I call a person "autistic", when they have introduced themselves as an "autistic savant", that's me judging the situation to use the vernacular the person has already chosen for themselves. So if you think I am a bad person for doing that, that's you judging me.

                  This PC stuff is much too complicated and it was refreshing to hear a younger person say that his generation didn't worry so much about labels, but more about the way in which they were treated.
                  "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I didn't make the rules of what is PC, was just commenting on them as I have heard them.

                    You take them or leave them as you wish, that is why there is controversy on what is PC and how much we want to live by those PC rules.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I agree with CatOnLap.

                      I have Crohn's disease, am a cancer survivor (wait, should
                      that be person who survived cancer?), have a genetic clotting
                      disorder and care absolutely nothing about the order of the
                      words describing my conditions.
                      I am thoroughly sick of political correctness. If a person feels
                      defined by the words a person uses, then it says more about
                      them than the writer.
                      www.settlementfarm.us

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        A big DITTO on this post!!!!!


                        Originally posted by dotneko View Post
                        I agree with CatOnLap.

                        I have Crohn's disease, am a cancer survivor (wait, should
                        that be person who survived cancer?), have a genetic clotting
                        disorder and care absolutely nothing about the order of the
                        words describing my conditions.
                        I am thoroughly sick of political correctness. If a person feels
                        defined by the words a person uses, then it says more about
                        them than the writer.
                        I'm disabled and I don't have a huge pole up my butt about how people refer to me/my disability. It is what it is. I am very open minded and willing to discuss my issues openly. People don't have to be PC when talking or writing about me.
                        Beth

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Does this mean I can't say, "I am a moron," and instead have to say, "I am a person with moronic tendencies?"

                          I don't wear a nightgown to the barn because I board. But if I had Ted at home, I'd run around in a t shirt with boots. And hopefully, there will be no neighbors on either side to see.
                          www.specialhorses.org
                          a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I am actually glad that several folks posted examples, because I didn't understand the original post...

                            And I'm a Special Olympics Coach.

                            I also recently got a pair of insulated coveralls on clearance sale, so that in the dead of winter I can pull them on over my nightgown for chores.
                            InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
                            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                            Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by pintopiaffe View Post
                              I am actually glad that several folks posted examples, because I didn't understand the original post...

                              And I'm a Special Olympics Coach.

                              I also recently got a pair of insulated coveralls on clearance sale, so that in the dead of winter I can pull them on over my nightgown for chores.
                              I am a person with MS, my daughter is a person with Autism. Yes, we are people first, but personally we find it offensive to be always labeled with the disability. Most everyone I know feels the same way. Person first language is supposed to address that...nada...it just gives people one more thing to tiptoe around.

                              We are just people and 99% of the time we don't have to let our disabilities define who we are, why do others need to do it? Stop it. Just stop it. My name is Colleen, that's all you need to know.

                              When the kids come into our program they are just that...kids. Just like everyone else. I am adamant about that.
                              I Loff My Quarter Horse & I love Fenway Bartholomule cliques

                              Just somebody with a positive outlook on life...go ahead...hate me for that.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                One more example:
                                I was talking to someone and autism came up in the conversation.
                                She said "I know about autism, my neighbor has an autistic kid".
                                Would it have been more PC to say "my neighbor's kid Willy is autistic"?

                                Now, was that person meaning that every time she thinks about that neighbor, that the kid is autistic defines her thoughts?
                                Every time she thinks about the kid, it is not one more Willy in the neighborhood, but "the autistic kid"?

                                I think that is why some wish people would consider their words and their thoughts about disabilities and individuals that may have them.

                                Maybe it is harmless to define that kid by his autism and maybe it is even an important note about who that kid is, say, if he were to get lost, as the search would be different than for a kid that didn't have the "autistic" label.

                                I think that asking for people to think about these matters is not only about being PC, but about acknowledging that there are questions in how we think and speak about some amongst us with differences from the norm.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I guess I don't quite see it this way, because, for example, I know my science and my passion for horses "define" me, as do many other things (like my "ass-mar," as so referred to in Lord of the Flies). Many people see it as negatives (ie, she is such a geek!), not positives. But it is part and parcel of what makes you an individual and unique.

                                  Sometimes - maybe in defense? - the issues make you find a way around things, physically and/or mentally, and that gives you a unique or varied ability/perspective.

                                  My friend Sandy has rheumatoid arthritis (from when she was a kid). When I was having issues with joints because of the Lyme disease, she was a wealth of information on how to deal - we were at a panel together last week, and I had trouble opening up a twist off soda bottle, and we just looked at each other and started to laugh because we completely understood the feeling and frustration. But her help was incredibly valuable to me, and reassuring, because she manages.

                                  I think it is the intent. An autistic kid isn't just austistic. They are a kid. They are someone's child. They may love gardening, or french fries. Autism isn't all that they are - just a part. I think it is the narrow focus that sees them only as the disability that is the problem.
                                  www.specialhorses.org
                                  a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                                    I think that asking for people to think about these matters is not only about being PC, but about acknowledging that there are questions in how we think and speak about some amongst us with differences from the norm.
                                    Actually, in my experience "PC behavior" does exactly the opposite and encourages people to place others in little boxes so they don't have to think about them or their differences.

                                    Mary has epilepsy, therefor Mary is a "person with epilepsy" no matter what she would like to be called. And she's not allowed to argue with the label the PC crowd places on her, because that would be un-PC and letting down epileptics everywhere.

                                    Personally, I just listen to how people refer to themselves and follow their lead. It means talking to the person and interacting with them and paying attention to them as, you know, an individual, but it seems to work really well.

                                    And meanwhile, I've never seen PC behavior do anything other than make one or both parties look stilted and uncomfortable.

                                    So yes, I absolutely reject the entire PC movement. I find it hugely offensive.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by pintopiaffe View Post
                                      I am actually glad that several folks posted examples, because I didn't understand the original post...

                                      And I'm a Special Olympics Coach.

                                      I also recently got a pair of insulated coveralls on clearance sale, so that in the dead of winter I can pull them on over my nightgown for chores.
                                      I didn't understand it either. And I'm a health care professional who deals with many disabled people in my daily work. I'm not sure what the OP thinks we are saying and what she thinks we should be saying. Just put the work "person" before you use the diagnosis or syndrome? How does that change anything about the content, meaning or sense of the sentence, or how the person is being referred to? I don't see the difference between "autistic child" and "child with autism". Its the same thing. Both are children, both have the disorder. Just not sure what she is adressing.

                                      I can understand not always qualifying an individualy by his diagnosis or disability. That's important many times, but not the same thing as what the OP seems to be saying. Just too picky and "PC" for my taste.
                                      Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        ok, and i may be uber cluless here BUT, THIS thread IS specifically about issues one must deal with while coping with a disability......therefore, the disability, in this case, seems to take center stage...............one has to understand the disability before being able to answer appropriately.....so, yes, everyone IS a person first and foremost, and in other threads, the disability need not be mentioned at all, and would not make a whit of difference to the answers.....but if the disability , and how it affects your riding, is the issue, why is it offensive to mention in the non-PC manner?

                                        Comment

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