What's the politically correct way to say learning delayed?

Jan 29, 2014
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I worked at a summer camp for children that are learning delayed and want to talk about the experience.

But what is the most politically correct way to describe the children that I was working with?

"they have learning disabilities"

"they are learning delayed"

"they are mentally challenged"

Not sure which would be the best for use in medical school apps, right now leaning towards learning disabilities but I'm not sure if there is a better way to say this
 
Mar 21, 2016
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Or do you mean learning problems in the sense of dyslexia? If so it would be learning disabilities
 
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Oncie

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Mar 15, 2015
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I'd probably say learning disabilities as that's the one I hear the most.

Also, in before the political incorrectness gestapo.
 
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NimbleNavigator

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Learning disabilities.

If you use any other term you're a racist bigot homophobe freak.
 

Hospitalized

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Sep 8, 2014
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Learning disabilities.

If you use any other term you're a racist bigot homophobe freak.
Not sure if serious but "developmental delay" is the actual button in our ER charts.

Everyone calls it developmental delay in the ER where I work.
 

Goro

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Either "learning disabled" or "developmentally delayed". Intellectual disabilities is also fine.


Do you mean developmental delays? I would say developmental or intellectual disabilities if so
 
Jan 16, 2014
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Just my two cents: it's much kinder to avoid applying (whichever term you decide on) as an adjective. It seems more like a label being inflicted when one says "IDD patient." Instead one could acknowledge the disability as incidental to the person by saying: "patient with IDD."
In other words, avoid "intellectually disabled toddler" and choose "toddler with an intellectual disability." Instead of "developmentally delayed child" perhaps "child with a developmental delay."
This can be more broadly applied to chronic medical conditions as well.
 

Eleithyia

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Apr 9, 2015
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If you're working with kids who just have learning disabilities, then call them that. If it's only kids with learning disabilities, I don't think I would go with "developmental disability" or "developmental delay"--it implies that the child has a social, physical, and/or emotional delay, which is pretty different from a learning disability.
DEFINITELY do not go with "learning differences" or "mentally challenged." Those are imprecise and vaguely impolite euphemisms.
 

Kurk

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Feb 18, 2016
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The first two sound fine; the third is acceptable but not as fluffy. Political correctness...*sigh*.
 

DokterMom

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All of the 'politically correct' labels being debated are actually very different things. Don't use a term that's inaccurate because you think it's kinder or more sensitive. It just makes you look and sound awkward -- like you're trying to be nice instead of just being nice. You can easily be respectful of people with disabilities while not sugar-coating the disabilities.

- Learning difference can mean visual-spatial, auditory or kinesthetic learners and is so imprecise and fuzzy as to be practically meaningless. I know some positively brilliant people who learn differently -- but that's not what you mean, right?
- Learning disability can be dyslexia, dyscalculia, ADD/ADHD, auditory processing disorder, short-term memory deficits -- the kind of thing you can teach around or potentially overcome, and again, without saying anything about the person's base intelligence.
- If you mean there is an intellectual deficit or disability, just say so. It is what it is and calling it something else just distorts your message.
- And if it's a developmental disorder - autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, Fragile X -- call it a developmental disorder, because again, that's what it is.

- One more thing - If the person is never ever going to 'catch up', then it isn't a "delay". Don't call it one.
Just my two cents: it's much kinder to avoid applying (whichever term you decide on) as an adjective. It seems more like a label being inflicted when one says "IDD patient." Instead one could acknowledge the disability as incidental to the person by saying: "patient with IDD." In other words, avoid "intellectually disabled toddler" and choose "toddler with an intellectual disability." Instead of "developmentally delayed child" perhaps "child with a developmental delay." This can be more broadly applied to chronic medical conditions as well.
Using a noun rather than an adjective+noun -- ex. "an autistic" versus a "young man with an ASD" is insensitive, crude and objectifying, but placing the adjective before the noun -- "an autistic man" is not really a problem. Sure, all other things being equal, a "young man with autism" is slightly better than a "young autistic man" -- but sentence construction can quickly get convoluted if you put too fine a point on this one.
 

DingoPingo

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Jan 8, 2013
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Children with special needs is fairly inclusive and most people know what you're talking about

I've never heard anyone use the term 'learning delayed'

Most of the problems are developmental disorders, so you can say "children with developmental disorders"
 
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Elfie

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Jul 20, 2016
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Intellectual or developmental disabilities depending on their diagnosis.

I work with children/young adults with disabilities and this is the most widely used and accepted way it seems.


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