Saturday, November 05, 2011

Looking a Gift Horse in the Mouth: It seems sort of Grinch-like to complain in any way about Toys 'R' Us's annual Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids. It's a nice idea, a useful gathering of things, a high-profile enterprise with an appropriate celebrity selected each year to draw warm-hearted attention (this year it's Eva Longoria, who has a sister with Down syndrome). But ... that phrase, "differently abled," just seems so bend-over-backwards to me. Do we really have work that hard to feel good about our kids? There's nothing "different" about my kids' abilities, or their disabilities for that matter -- they have strengths and weaknesses just like anybody else. "Variously abled" might be more apt. "Differently abled," though well-intentioned, is still about different. I agree that "disabled" and "special" and "special needs" and "exceptional" are all problematic in their own ways, but "differently abled" is both not-quite-it and linguistically awkward. What else you got?

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