Monday, August 18, 2008

w00t! I have no dyslexics in my classes this year!

Our view of the world is affected by our language.

Back in the Neolithic era, when I was a pediatric resident, an endocrinology attending wiped his feet on me when I called a patient a "diabetic."
"The patient is not a 'diabetic,' the patient is a child with diabetes"
Um, that's what I said, no?
"You called the patient a diabetic."
Same thing?
"A patient is not a disease."
A year later I was chiding medical students for calling children diabetics, epileptics, and asthmatics. It matters.

We use words without realizing their influence.

I have some children with dyslexia in my classes, but I no longer have any dyslexics.


Betty said...

Your point is well taken. It does make a difference. I had never really thought of it that way.

doyle said...

It's one of those subtle things that makes more and more sense as you practice it, at least for me.

I was initially taken aback when I was called on it, but ultimately I saw my patients in a new light, or rather a more complete light.

It indirectly meshes with your latest blog entry
"Sticks and Stones."