Sunday, October 23, 2011

People First Language- Response to 60 minutes 10/23/11

I have had the opportunity to work with some amazing students and parents. I feel very honored to work with these individuals.

Tonight I was watching some recorded program and a friend called me to remind me that 60 minutes was airing information about apps for autism. I of course I automatically changed the channel to watch to see what they said. I have been using my personal iPad, but was honored to have a private donor donate an iPad 2 to my classroom. I am always looking for new apps to use in my classroom.

One of the first words out of the interviewers mouth was an autistic child. An autistic child! One of the first conferences I ever went to a parent was sitting in the audience and she quietly raised her hand before the session started and she asked if we would make sure to use people first language. Since that day 10 years ago I have been very conscious of using people first language. When talking about a person they are a person first. When talking about a child they are FIRST the child!

I love using the iPad in my classroom. As the people on the interview said, it is not appropriate for every student. It is important to try all different styles of teaching methods and ideas. I love using the iPad for many reasons. A couple of my favorite right now are to Skype and tweet. I mean, for my class to Skype and tweet.

As the interview ended I loved listening to the mom when she talked about her child interacting with the iPad and then looking up and responding when they answered a question correctly. The interviewer came back with that is such a small thing. I wonder how she is able to determine that this was a small feat? I know that when my students have made that first step of communication that is HUGE! I wonder how she was able to judge?

These are all of course my own personal opinions. As you look at a child or another human being, I hope you look at them first. Just as the saying goes, don't judge a book by its cover. As you look at accomplishments of yourself and others I hope you celebrate them all! Time is too short.

Take a moment to correct yourself and use people first language and realize that every milestone is huge.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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