Bad Disability Journalism: Disabled Adults are not Children

Here’s a major feature on caring for two intellectually and developmentally disabled children in Australia. The parents wanted people to “know what it’s like, to advocate for more resources, more good housing options, and so forth.

The critiques of this piece could be many, but here’s the one I want to focus on: The parents, and the reporter, and the headline continuously repeat the narrative that these 24-year-old women are “like three year olds.”

They are not. Just look at the pictures – watching YouTube, shopping, reading the papers, and so forth. They may not be neurotypical, but they are not children. They may require intense levels of support, and I am a strong advocate for such supports. But they are not children. 

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