Drums please! Introducing… diffability!

I’m feeling all feisty tonight. I’ve never considered myself too PC, but lately I’m surprising myself at just how much umbrage I’m taking at the word disabled. Didn’t expect to. Just happened. Other people have issues with various labels that get thrown around, like retard and coloured and dwarf and politician and what have you. Maybe it requires the personal experience to make it hit home. So to hell with disability. I’m redefining it. I’m telling you now, so if it crops up in conversation you’ll be able to spot it and not feel gauche or embarrassed on my behalf or anything useless like that.

Henceforth I’ll be pronouncing disability as diffability.

Go ahead and think it’s wanky if you want, but I’m a problem-solution guy. I have developed an intense dislike of the word, so I’m changing it. See? Problem and solution.

I anticipate some issues. Not problems for me, but there may be one or two raised eyebrows and perhaps even a faltering attempt at correction here or there. It could get very awkward. Folks’ll wonder when I developed my late lisp.* ‘Oh yes’ (I’ll say), ‘our youngest has a diffability. Absolutely everyone’s delirious with jealousy, but what can you do? We all have our cross to carry.’

His diffability manifests itself in a host of disserent ways. He only seems to be upset if he’s in genuine distress, the strange little man. He smiles way more than seems normal somehow. How can that be right? He makes people want to run to him and pick him up, as if he’s got a supercharged good vibe coming off him. Totally diffabled. And I think it’s rubbing off on the rest of us. Not that we’re smelling the roses more, because there doesn’t seem to be time for that. It’s just that we’re all going on about how we should stop and smell the roses now. I wonder are we becoming a diffunctional family. Cripes.

Don’t get too diffmayed. He’s started clapping in the last week. I get the feeling that he’s been sitting in his bouncer, watching a particularly satisfying circus act (that’ll be us) and wants to signal his approval of our efforts.

Now how in hell am I going to tell my hero Pat that she’s gonna hafta change her wondersite’s name?

* If you’ve got a lisp please don’t take a fence. We need it for the neighbours’ cattle.
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5 comments on “Drums please! Introducing… diffability!

  1. Elbog says:

    Well, I started to diffmiss your diffparity as a deviation based upon difftance, but you may be on to something. It’s a diffstinction that’s sure to cause some diffonance, but you seem to have always been a bit diffturbing, yes?
    Wank On!

  2. hammie says:

    I like it. As a mother of not one but two Superabled children; I have hit huge brick walls trying to apply for help such as a parking permit because my kids are so good at climbing out of things and running away; that I needed the extra space. (to wedge them into the car) Superabled always sounded a bit marvel comics* so I really like Diffability.
    xx
    (*not that there’s anything wrong with that, I think it is time for an Autistic Superhero!, and no Rainman does not count)

  3. Nick McGivney says:

    Ha ha Hammie! Very relevant comment, particularly given the unfolding furor re Ben Stiller’s latest movie. Check out Tropic Thunder’s major faux pas here: http://www.patriciaebauer.com/2008/08/01/once-upon-a-time/

    It’s okay to do a Rainman apparently, because at some stuff he was a genius. But the problem arises when you do the ‘full retard’ (Robert Downey Jr’s unfortunate phrase) as Ben Stiller did in the movie-within-a-movie Simple Jack. This one’s going to run and run. The disability (do I mean diffability?) lobby in the US is facing off against Dreamworks (Spielberg, Geffen and Katzenberg) on Wednesday, so it’ll be interesting to see how Hollywood handles this one. I’ll be sharpening the knives for when it gets released here…

  4. Jo says:

    A lecturer on special needs in college made the point that he wouldn’t really like to use a ‘disabled toilet’, it wouldn’t inspire confidence.

    Seriously though, getting it right, being positive and just the right amount of pc, it’s hard! Give us the words, keep ’em coming.

  5. Sesame says:

    Like it!!..it’s disserent..reminds me of the dyslexic cinderella story (Rindercella & her sugly isters). We all have different abilities and this should be celebrated so well done you for taking the stance and introducing this pab fhrase.

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