Watch your Language

My son, David, lives in a residential setting in Ontario.

His behaviour is compliant and testing shows that he is high functioning, similar to the other residents in this resource.

David’s group home is situated close to his day program and is in an excellent location for easy community access.

David’s routine includes a daily feeding program, toileting program, self- care program and cooking program.

Feeding time is David’s favourite time of day. He is considered to be very active.

My son loves outings, but due to his busy schedule and limited funding the outings are few and far between.

The story I just shared with you about my son is called ‘Watch Your Language’.

This is because it is so easy to describe persons with a disability in a language that is different than we describe persons without a disability.

I will re-tell you the story about my son, David.

David lives with three other roommates in a house they rent in Ontario.

He is an A student, similar to the other three guys that live with him.

David’s home is close to Queen’s University where he is completing his Bachelor of Science in Physics Engineering. His home is also walking distance from the downtown core.

David does his own cooking and tries not to hold up the bathroom too long as he gets ready for school each day.

He is full of energy, and loves his meals.

He’d like to take off with his friends more often but studies and his pocketbook get the best of him.

As families, the contrast between these two stories is very real to us. In a nutshell, our message is to think, speak and treat our family members and friends as persons rather than persons with a disability.


Written by Sharon DiSanto 1994