My child is a baby who happens to have Down syndrome. She also happens to have dark hair and blue eyes. She’s very attentive and social. Down syndrome is just a small part of her, but it is not what defines her. Yes, she will have some characteristics due to her having Down syndrome, but more importantly she will probably love to sing like her sisters do, her eyes will turn brown late like her sisters’ eyes did, and she’ll probably enjoy being creative because that seems to run in the family. So why would anyone call her a Down syndrome child when there is so much more to her? Individuals with Down syndrome are just that – individuals with Down syndrome or individuals who happen to have Down syndrome. Children with Down syndrome are not Down syndrome children or Downs kids because when it is phrased that way the child is already defined by their Down syndrome. Why define an individual by their disability?
What I’m referring to is called people first language. In people first language we put the individual first, before their disability because the individual is what’s important.
Here is a great link from the CDC about people first language.