Welcome to the CRED Commentary! Here you will find articles shared by CRED lab members about current projects in the lab, academic journeys, and much more.
August 18, 2023
Learning to Unlearn: A Graduate Student Perspective on Intertwining Childhood Intellectual Disability, Critical Perspectives, and Childhood Ethics
Written by: Rachel Reparon, PhD Candidate, Student Occupational Therapist
At the age of 13, I began working with children labeled with intellectual disability.
I was told person-first language was the best language to use to be respectful, so that is the language I used. I used the phrase ‘children with intellectual disabilities’ when referring to this group, not knowing the language I used had any real impact.
I was told inclusion of people with disabilities into the mainstream population was the best way to be helpful, so that is what I aimed to do. I endeavored to help kids with intellectual disability at a summer camp keep up with their peers by pushing them in their wheelchairs or simplifying activity instructions. The aim was to support them to do what everyone else was doing.
I was told some people with intellectual disabilities cannot speak for themselves, so I tried to help by speaking for them. At the time, it seemed to be the right thing to do to become a voice for people with intellectual disability, advocating for their best interests…