I updated “The Segregation of Special” with selections from ““Special needs” is an ineffective euphemism”.

Although euphemisms are intended to put a more positive spin on the words they replace, some euphemisms are ineffective. Our study examined the effectiveness of a popular euphemism for persons with disabilities, special needs. Most style guides prescribe against using the euphemism special needs and recommend instead using the non-euphemized term disability; disability advocates argue adamantly against the euphemism special needs, which they find offensive. In contrast, many parents of children with disabilities prefer to use special needs rather than disability. But no empirical study has examined whether special needs is more or less positive than the term it replaces. Therefore, we gathered a sample of adult participants from the general population (N = 530) and created a set of vignettes that allowed us to measure how positively children, college students, and middle-age adults are viewed when they are described as having special needs, having a disability, having a certain disability (e.g., is blind, has Down syndrome), or with no label at all. We predicted and observed that persons are viewed more negatively when described as having special needs than when described as having a disability or having a certain disability, indicating that special needs is an ineffective euphemism. Even for members of the general population who have a personal connection to disability (e.g., as parents of children with disabilities), the euphemism special needs is no more effective than the non-euphemized term disability. We also collected free associations to the terms special needs and disability and found that special needs is associated with more negativity; special needs conjures up more associations with developmental disabilities (such as intellectual disability) whereas disability is associated with a more inclusive set of disabilities; and special needs evokes more unanswered questions. These findings recommend against using the euphemism special needs.

Source: “Special needs” is an ineffective euphemism

I also linked to this tweet in the section about identity and community.

One of Reggio’s key aims is to look at what children can do, rather than what they can’t, and to break the image of the child as weak and incomplete. Children from all socioeconomic backgrounds attend Reggio Emilia schools and children with disabilities receive first priority and full mainstreaming under Italian law. Instead of being labeled “children with special needs” they are labeled “children with special rights.” Every child is seen in terms of the resources and potential they bring, rather than what’s missing.

Source: Reggio Emilia | It’s About Learning

I updated “Neurodiversity in the SpEd Classroom” with selections from “This Video Demonstrates What It’s Like to Be an Autistic Adult Who Isn’t Being Heard | The Autism Site Blog” and a video embed of “Rethinking Autism: Autism Support Group – YouTube”.

More children than ever before are being diagnosed with autism. But what about the adults? Some of these individuals have never been diagnosed but have always known they were a bit “different.” Others were diagnosed but did not have the same degree of societal acceptance or the same number of resources available to help them cope with a neurotypical world.

Now this group of adults is the demographic that best understands what people with autism need, whether or not they know how to articulate it in a way the rest of society is able to grasp. But what these men and women have to say about autism is important. These people need to be heard!

The video below encourages adults with autism to get involved in the discussion and asks others to be cognizant of the needs of people with autism and invite them into the conversation. The neurotypical community needs adults with autism to lend their voices and experiences to help make the future brighter for the next generation!

Check out this powerful video!

Source: This Video Demonstrates What It’s Like to Be an Autistic Adult Who Isn’t Being Heard | The Autism Site Blog

I also embedded a couple tweets. See this thread for reactions to the video from #ActuallyAutistic folks:

This captures my sentiment:

I did another pass on this piece about neurodiversity in SpEd classrooms, tempering the tone, and making collaborative gestures. There are many folks wanting to do better with not enough of anything, particularly here in Texas.

Neurodiversity in the SpEd Classroom

Packing conflicting sensory needs into a room is a guarantee of feedback cycles and meltdowns. Zone thinkers need peaceful places where they can get in their heads and maintain high memory states. They also, sometimes, need more social campfires and watering holes where they connect ideas and find collaborators with complementary strengths.

Caves, campfires, and watering holes. I wouldn’t and couldn’t work at a place that didn’t provide these zones-both online and in meatspace. I couldn’t work at a place that didn’t have chill rooms for sensory and social management. I don’t even bother with conferences that don’t provide these.

Classroom UX: Bring Your Own Comfort, Bring Your Own Device, Design Your Own Context

How are kids—less practiced at coping, passing, and masking, during the most stressful and shame-sensitive periods of life—supposed to put in a full working week without even the basics expected by many office workers? Kids, like adult creatives, are human with human needs.

We leave so many minds out. We have forgotten much about children, learning, and being human.

People all over the world know these things about children and learning, and interestingly, they are as workable for learning how to design software or conduct a scientific experiment or write an elegant essay as they are for learning to hunt caribou or identify medicinal plants in a rainforest.

But we don’t know them any more.

Source: A Thousand Rivers — Carol Black

I updated “Compassion is not coddling. Design for real life.”, “Design is Tested at the Edges: Intersectionality, The Social Model of Disability, and Design for Real Life”, “Neurodiversity in the SpEd Classroom”, and “Classroom UX: Bring Your Own Comfort, Bring Your Own Device, Design Your Own Context” with a selection from “From Hostility to Community – Teachers Going Gradeless”.

An education that is designed to the edges and takes into account the jagged learning profile of all students can help unlock the potential in every child.

Source: From Hostility to Community – Teachers Going Gradeless