As the parent of a special needs child, it is a nightmare to know that someone can hurt an innocent child or adult who has no cognitive understanding of hate. Over 14% of school aged children are considered special needs. Below are three ways that we can impact culture and spread positivity regarding children with special needs.

Watch Your Words. When referring to people with special needs, use the proper terminology. Refrain from using the outdated and negative “R” word. The most appropriate term or phrase to use for people with special needs is “intellectually delayed” or “cognitive delay.” Most individuals with a diagnosed disability would rather be seen for who they are personally rather than the title of their disability. Some even prefer the term differently abled. Rather than saying, autistic, it is more appropriate to say “person with autism.”

Technically, the words, “moron” and “idiot” are also inappropriate words to use. Historically, they were derogatory words used to describe someone with a low IQ. By starting to change our speech, we can start to change the culture of how special needs children and adults are viewed in society. 

Care for Your Friends. If you have a friend with a special needs child, care for them by avoiding spreading mass hysteria. Reach out to them and remind them that they are part of a wide and positive village. The thing that parents of children with special needs often feel is a sense of loneliness.

Stop Hate. The most destructive force on earth is hate. Hate is a pure and evil force whose desire is to destroy and cause harm. Try to keep from sharing the video, and flood your timeline with good thoughts and positive energy. It is in times like this that we have an opportunity to share love. 

Do you have a story to share with our readers? We want to hear it! Sign up for our Spoke Contributor Network and start submitting your writing today.