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Have you heard of person centered thinking? (About individuals with special needs) *Little long*

It bothers me that people so often use labels first when describing their children. I used to teach a class called Person-Centered thinking, and thought I might share some of that philosophy with some of you. The theory behind it is that the first few descriptive words you use when talking about someone bears a huge impact on the way people percieve them. For ex: If you say......."My Autistic son is 6 years old" People will automatically picture every stereotype that they've heard about Autism, before imagining the child himself; but if you say "My 6 year old son has Autism" people will get a vision of a little boy first, and "Autism" becomes a descriptive word rather than a definition of his person. This summary certainly leaves a lot to be desired in terms of the philosphy as a whole, but I hope that it makes sense to someone.......


Asked by Kimedbs at 5:25 PM on Jul. 4, 2011 in Just for Fun

Level 21 (11,521 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (5)
  • Id bump you 100 times if I could. I was trying to explain this in another question that I answered and she just didn't seem to get it. She kept saying "special needs child" and "non-special needs child". They are CHILDREN first.

    Answer by TARARENEE at 5:37 PM on Jul. 4, 2011

  • First thing we need to do is get rid of the stereotypes...Most parents of typical children don't understand the struggles that parents of special need children face. Yes, they are first and foremost children, but I also can't expect parents who don't understand these issues to supply answers to any questions I might have pertaining to my kids. My daughter has global developmental delays, is almost 3 and has never spoken, and eats pureed foods and drinks thickened liquids because of swallowing difficulties. It is what it is..why sugar coat it for ppl who don't want to focus on the challenges I and other parents are facing?????

    Answer by Heathercurlz at 9:32 PM on Jul. 4, 2011

  • I actually have never thought about it like that. Thank you for sharing. Here's a bump for you.

    Answer by Mom2theboy1994 at 5:30 PM on Jul. 4, 2011

  • Wow that is really interesting.

    Answer by HollyBoBolly at 5:47 PM on Jul. 4, 2011

  • @ Heather, It's not about "sugar coating" it. It's about people seeing your DD as a person like anyone else. I'm sure she has unique qualities all her own, likes,dislikes, a beautiful smile, there is something special about her aside from her many challenges. I think that people should be more educated about the various challenges that people face, but it's more important that they learn to see the person behind the physical, mental or emotional challenges that they may have.

    Comment by Kimedbs (original poster) at 10:03 PM on Jul. 4, 2011