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Should I ‘shut up’?

Kerry-Ann Fender

Joined: 2015-06-26 Posts: 15

Am I right to speak out directly when (usually elderly) family members refer to my son as ‘a down’s’, or say ‘oh, he doesn’t understand’, or refer to people with learning disabilities as ‘mentally defective’? Or should I just ‘shut up and stop being so salty all the time’ for the sake of family harmony?

27 April 2017 11:11 AM # 1


Joined: 2014-10-10 Posts: 266

I struggle with this too - again it’s usually with grandparents (who should really know at this stage) or older people.

I think you have to assess each situation as it comes - I often wonder do older people choose not to listen or purposely use language in a way to annoy or offend just to get a rise.  If this the case its a losing battle really isn’t it.

I had a situation recently where I was really annoyed with myself that I didn’t challenge someone on their use of language - which was really offensive. It still plays on my mind. Also a guy I know said he was thinking of setting up a fitness class at his gym for ‘down’s kids’ - I did suggest that if he was going to do that he might need to rethink his language - this was definitely a case of lack of awareness.

As an aside it makes me chuckle when my lovely mother in law refers to kids with autism as ‘those artistic children.’

02 May 2017 01:28 AM # 2

Healing Heart

Joined: 2014-10-10 Posts: 645

“Being Salty” I like that expression… perhaps I’m not salty enough sometimes!  HA.

Family is a touch thing - especially with different generations as the perception of children with special needs has significantly changed throughout the years.  It would still get on my nerves though and I don’t think long term I could let it slide.  Since they are family I’d be delicate and nice about it, but I would still attempt to politely correct.


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