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Language has become humanized over the years, if generations ago people spoke of Mongolian children, today it seems unthinkable to use those terms. Stupid, retarded or idiotic children are expressions that fortunately have gone down in history.
Currently we usually use the name of disability to refer to children with Down syndrome, Asperger syndrome, autistic, motor or hearing disorders. Too we use the word disability to refer to them. However, the parents of these children have started to use another term: children with different abilities.
We have used the term disability or handicap since the early 1990s when its use was finalized after consensus carried out by more than 70 countries. However, starting in 2000, the then Mexican presidential candidate Vicente Fox used the term different capacities to highlight the skills or virtues of people with disabilities during his election campaign. The term had such an impact that it was registered in federal or local laws. And little by little, it was being used by more people, mainly by people with disabilities and their families.
But why use this term? What is the difference between a child with a disability and another with a special ability?
There are none, the difference is in the language, that is, in the meaning that both terms have for society. If we refer to children with disabilities, the first thing we think is that they are people with less capacity than us, which is wrong for many parents since they cannot be considered inferior or less than other children.
However, talking about different or special abilities does not imply belittling the child, but keep it at the same level as other children but emphasizing that it has other abilities or capacities. It is based on the fact that all human beings have aptitudes, talents or abilities to exercise something, whether we have a disability or not. And, children with some type of disorder also have abilities, they struggle and struggle, they try, they work, they fall and they get up, just like any other child.
This new term can help children treat each other as equals, without thinking about differences or pointing them out. Thus avoiding looks of pity or unequal treatment. Allowing the approach to children with different abilities to also learn from them.
You can read more articles similar to Children with disabilities or children with different abilities?, in the Down Syndrome category on site.