A mum whose 8 year old child has Down's syndrome has been defending why she calls him a 'retard'.

Son with Downs SyndromeSian Isaac, a mum-of-two, from Devon, has launched an online blog called ‘Unfiltered Mum’ to raise awareness of her son Josh’s condition and provide an insight into what it’s like for a parent to cope with a child who has special needs.

Sian, says "People in the Down's syndrome world would think retard is the worst remark. Rightly or wrongly I would call someone a retard… I don't use it in the house very often at all. I'd say to Ollie (Joshs younger brother) 'stop being a retard' so I would not then not say it to Josh just because he has Down's syndrome.

"It's not meant offensively; It's just a word and I've not stopped doing using it, just less." She continues, "Josh will have a lot of things thrown at him when he is older. If he grows up with his mum and dad laughing at him and him laughing along it will teach him to laugh with people rather than educate millions of people not to use the word. We are trying to teach him you don't need to get offended by those people as it's not worth it.

This story comes a month after Australian tennis player Bernard Tomic was criticised for using the word 'retard' during a Wimbledon press conference. Tomic was responding to a question about being made to wait on court for his opponent, “I did get to the court prior to him very early, and unfortunately I had to stand on court like a retard.'

Mencap immediately criticised Tomic, calling his language 'damaging and offensive'. Then, Rosanne Stuart, the mother of Madeline Stuart, an 18-year-old Australian model with Down Syndrome, wrote an open letter to him. ‘ Dear Mr Tomic, After seeing your interview on national television I am horrified and disgusted that a capable man such as yourself could be so naive and ugly with your use of language in the public arena. I am also at a loss as to why you feel that it is OK under any circumstances with any audience to use such a word…’

‘As you know, I have a daughter with Down Syndrome and this disgraceful comment would be referring to her if we took it literally. Mind you, I am also completely at a loss as to how waiting around on a tennis court can reflect in any way on her behaviour or anyone with an intellectual disability….’ Tomic subsequently apologised for the comment, ‘I apologise if I offended anyone. I'm sorry. It just came out the wrong way,' he said.

Chris Knight, Head of Health and Social Care training within SecuriCare explains “Historically there was a public consensus that a disabled person’s condition was the root cause of their exclusion from society. We would call this the ‘medical model of disability’. In the 1970’s the thinking around disability was re-shaped by the disabled persons civil rights movement. The new model which emerged from their thinking was termed ‘the social model of disability. This new perspective held that people were just people, but that those with some form of physical, mental or sensory functional limitation were treated prejudicially and experienced barriers within society. So it was that the ‘disabling effect’ resided within society, rather than in the individuals minds, bodies or senses. The empowering thing was that this represented a mindset or outlook that could be changed and could therefore become enabling..”

“In this case I empathise with the mum in question who seems to be preparing her son for a life wherein prejudice is the norm. What we must do however is try to change mind-sets and get more people to realise that we are all human beings at the end of the day, and that all of us benefit from the good will and open minds of others. This is very much a teme that runs through our training sessions and is key to understanding and fully implementing the principles of positive behaviour support..”

SecuriCare offer a range of courses designed to enable support workers, carers and foster families to best respond to any ‘Challenging Behaviour’ that may occur. All programmes are finalised after full training needs analysis and delivered by experienced frontline practitioners. Click to see our ‘Preventing & Managing Challenging Behaviour’ Course which includes ‘Positive Behaviour Management’ techniques designed to minimise the need for any kind of restrictive intervention. You can also take a look at our person centred Behaviour Planning Service.

SecuriCare have also developed a suite of ‘Care Certificate’ courses for induction purposes. Put together by a development team comprising PhD and Masters’ Graduate Nurses with a combined 50 years of practice in Health and Social Care, these courses provide a powerful, engaging and cost effective training solution.

Our suite of Care Certificate courses allow you to select a range that best meet your local needs. Each individual course content is fully mapped across to meet the underpinning knowledge requirements for the QCF Diplomas in Health and Social Care at Levels 2 and 3. Completion of all of the courses allows the candidate to meet the knowledge specifications of all of the mandatory units of these QCF Diplomas. Click to see our ‘Care Certificate’ Courses

Contact us for more information and to discuss your needs: E: trainers@securicare.com or T: 01904 492442

To read Sian's blog visit www.facebook.com/mumunfiltered/ or @mum_unfiltered on Twitter


Click for the full story from The Mirror