Maura Campbell asks us to think differently about difference, she argues now is the time to retire the village ‘idiot’ and think about the language around learning disabilities.
For example; the stereotypes of people with autism as cold, emotionless automatons and the medical community using words like ‘diagnosis’, ‘risk’ and ‘symptoms’ all have a negative narrative.
But what about the positives? These often include honesty, directness, loyalty, a strong sense of natural justice, excellent memory, expertise in intense interests, originality, creativity and independent thinking.
Everyday we use words to describe people’s intelligence without thinking about it. ‘idiot’, ‘moron’ and ‘imbecile’ are in-fact the clinical terms used to describe learning disabilities but they are most frequently used to call someone a fool.
Perhaps, Maura Campbell suggests, we could think of people as different but not less.
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