What’s the proper terminology?


Titles and labels are always changing, and it’s hard to know the appropriate way to talk about a child or student who may have special needs.

My son has Apraxia, and it greatly affects his expressive language. Think of a time the word you wanted to say was on the tip of your tongue and you couldn’t grasp it (which is called Aphasia, by the way), so you couldn’t express your thought the way you wanted to. Or, think of a time you used the wrong word for something, and everybody around you rolled their eyes and corrected you. That is what my son deals with daily. He sees a speech therapist, as well as an occupational therapist to help him. So it’s fair to say he has needs that other kids don’t. I’m fine with saying my son has ‘special needs’, but don’t go calling him a ‘special needs kid’. Also, don’t say he’s an “Apraxic child”, because he isn’t. He’s a lot more than that. He’s a child that has Apraxia. See the difference? It’s called ‘person first language’ and it’s important to know the difference.

Some parents don’t like labels attached to their child. If your son or daughter plays soccer, is that how you refer to them?

Julia Garstecki

Twitter Feed