The labels that just do not make sense to me…


I was talking with a mama yesterday…..we have talked before about our dis-like (the dis part of the word meaning that we DO NOT LIKE)…specific to the words: dis-abilities, dis-abled, even differently-abled (for me differently-abled means that you are different from what is seen as the norm..and what is the norm?) and the word typical (because who in this world is typical…really I am serious).  I have four children….and all of them are unique…all presenting with different challenges (in my mind…although not “labeled“)…..meaning my Gregory is cortically blind in his right eye…so he has a visual challenge…my Andrew struggles in reading and math and receives AIS services…so he has challenges in math and reading….my Katie did not walk until she was 24 months…at the time she had challenges related to her gross motor development…and my Zach……well I am not sure what his challenges are…read more about him under A Rock Star (at the top of my home page) and also under Worth-It! (under the categories to the right of my home page).

And although I do not have a special needs child (not sure how I feel about these words too)….as all children in some way or another have needs…and no child is more special than another…..I still feel so strongly about the negative connotation attached with these words….meaning are children than viewed differently?  And……when I am working with the little ones I see for therapy…none of them…in my eyes…are DIS-ABLED……how horrible…that means that they are NOT ABLED….they are all quite abled to me….what I see are challenges….challenges that can be overcome. 

So maybe when referring to little ones….or big ones…the reference should be made specific to the challenge…like….when speaking about your LO….or when there are references made to children that need more support…meaning they may not be learning incidentally…and may need more of a therapeutic approach to learning….maybe it should be: Kim presents with challenges in communication.  Mary presents with challenges in oral motor feeding.  John presents with challenges in gross motor development.  We all have our own challenges in life…some are greater than others….to use the words: dis-abled, dis-abilities, the horrible R word (I am hoping that that word is never used by anyone anymore), and special needs…….these words do not explain what the child is capable of.  And as an SLP….working…I see a little one’s capabilities….her strengths….her motivation…and how I will use her capabilities…strengths and motivations to help her overcome her challenges.

In a world now where we try to spread awareness…I think we all should be aware of the capabilities we see in the little ones we work with or raising as mamas and daddy’s.  And how we can use the capabilities to help overcome the challenges. Hopefully this awareness with help the ignorance that so many people in this world have. 

~Capabilities and Challenges~
















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About Kim

My name is Kim Marino and I have been practicing as a licensed speech and language pathologist since 1993. I work on Long Island providing diagnostic evaluations and services to children from birth to age 21. My experience is vast and am proud to say that I work with children that may present with articulation and phonological concerns, oral motor feeding concerns, Down Syndrome feeding, cognitive rehabilitation, auditory processing delays, receptive language delays, cleft palate feeding and sound development and expressive language delays. Most importantly, I am the mother of four amazing children and am happily married to my childhood sweetheart. I feel blessed to have my four children and so lucky to share this journey in life with my husband. I always had it somewhere in my head that I wanted to develop a blog or a website of some sort so that I could provide families with an additional that parents could help their little ones become a better communicator. And as I was developing this blog....I realized that I also needed to share the stories about my life and my children....and the funny things along the way that help to keep me smiling. Whether you are a working mother or not...finding balance between home, children and life can be a challenge....I hope that my blog helps to bring a smile to your face..and also some tools to help you help your little or big one. I hope you enjoy! Kim
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