Nancy Gedge

Mind your language when it comes to SEND

The casual use of words that might be offensive to some children often goes unchecked in schools, especially where teachers are not themselves offended by such vocabulary, writes Nancy Gedge

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I had a phone call the other day from one of the editors of TES. He was worried about some words in a blog post – words that are typically used to insult and refer to people with learning disabilities. Because my son has the learning disability referred to (Down’s syndrome), he asked me whether the author’s reasoning – that the words were included in the article to highlight prejudice – justified their use.

I thought it did. It needs to be talked about, because this is the kind of prejudice people with learning disabilities come up against all the time. Words that refer to them are used every ...

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