Changing the language and euphemisms

Changing Intellectual Delay Language

Euphemisms to Change

  • You belong on the short-bus or that is short bus material
  • Like a 4 year old in a 40 year old body
  • I’m such an idiot, that was really dumb
  • Oh duh, I’m an idiot, sorry that was so dumb
  • I swear like I am r*****
  • You are so r****
  • They area total moron
  • This class is so stupid
  • This song its so r**

Labels to Retire

  • Mental R*****
  • Anything to do with R***
    • ex. Libtard, F***tard
  • Mentally Handicapped
  • Mentally Defective
  • Mentally Challenged
  • Imbecile/Idiot/Idiotic
  • Dumb
  • Moron/Moronic
  • Mouth Breather (Uniformed)

The Why to Change ones language

  • There is No non-ableist way to insult someone’s language.
  • Replacing words like “r*” or “idiot” as insults replacing with synonyms still preserves the harm to the disabled people & community.
  • All people over 18-years old who need help with decisions and they are still adults and need to be treated with dignity and spoken to as any other adult.
  • Imbecile is an ableist term and cannot be changed to be non-ableist. Imbecile classist term as well as it was used in the early to mid 1900s to justify institutionalizing and sterilizing young women who were poor or consider having low IQ’s.
  • Idiot, moron and imbecilic are relics of the past. These words are no longer in use by the medical world after the American Eugenics movement popularized them. This made the case easier for Nazi’s in the Holocaust to remove individuals with such labels.

What to use instead of Euphemisms

  • First address a person by their name or use the following….
  • Person with an intellectual disability
  • Person with a cognitive disability
  • Intellectual Disability
    *IDD-Intellectual & Developmental Delay
  • Uniformed
  • Reckless
  • Impulsive
  • Ignorant
  • Tacky
  • What were you thinking?
  • What the hell were you thinking?
  • Risk-Taking
  • Feckless
  • Narrow Minded
  • Frustrating(ed)
  • Annoying
  • Irritating
  • Obnoxious
  • Uh yeah that makes total sense now that Im thinking of it

2 thoughts on “Changing Intellectual Delay Language”

  1. Hi Shelley, we both attended a Zoom Writing Accountability Group and shared our blogs. I thought I would check yours out. This is a great topic that I am becoming more aware of the longer I live with disability myself.

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