We headed to the lawyer on Tuesday to finalize our wills and get all of our affairs in order. Not exactly the most fun experience in the world and we are still young, but it is important to both of us to have everything in order. Because we met with the lawyer in the evening, Nathan came with us. He was being his charming, little cute self and we were able to get all of the paperwork signed and completed. The lawyer would periodically chat with him while we were concentrating and Nathan seemed to really like him.
In the middle of all of this, the lawyer noticed that we had a special needs clause in the will and mentioned this to us. He then asked a question that I have heard before, but it has never been asked to me in this manner. As many of you know, I am BIG into People First language and I am constantly politely correcting those who may not be aware of this type of language. Without any hesitation, correction or stumbling over his words, the lawyer simply asked, “How is he differently abled?” This little question, posed in this way, made my day.
Now I don’t know whether or not he schools himself in the proper language to use when speaking to others, as he is a lawyer. Or whether he has family members with different disabilities. I do know that if more people learned how to ask questions (that are welcome by moms like me) in that form, our lives would be a whole lot brighter. It sounds so silly and insignificant but when part of your world is dealing with the judgment and ignorance of others because of a disability, these simple little phrases show that people CAN learn to talk about others with respect and dignity, no matter their ability.
If you’d like to learn more about People First language, check out Kathie Snow‘s website.
I’d like to also post a video from YouTube that I am completely in love with. Since Nathan was born, I have come across a lot of Down syndrome awareness things, but this is one of the best. Although it is not necessarily a sad video, it is so inspiring and encouraging that I cry every time I see it….lol. Enjoy!