Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Value of "Functioning"

If you know me you know that I don't do political correctness, so please don't mistake this as a rant on proper terms.  However, there are times that I think some commonly used phrases don't do justice to what they are talking about.
Case in point: the classification of "functioning" levels for people with Down syndrome (or any disability) just looks in the wrong place for value.  Really, what defines "function".  Here's the dictionary definition.

Functioning: Verb
    1. Work or operate in a proper or particular way.
    2.  Fulfill the purpose or task of (a specified thing).

The first definition seems to apply more to a refrigerator or washing machine :)  And the second begs the question what is the specified thing.  It doesn't really leave room for the classifications of  "high" or "low".  Rather it implies (for people)  that each of us has a different purpose.  Now that is more like it. 
Reagan's Grammy says it right when she talks about Reagan "maximizing her gifts".  That is where we find value.  In the gifts of each individual.  And even better, when we view people in terms of their gifts, we receive the joy that can come from helping them maximize those gifts.  Ask any mom of a kiddo with Down syndrome and they will tell you that watching their kids achieve milestones is so much sweeter because of the work that is put into them.

As I was contemplating how I wanted to write about maximizing gifts I was reading through other blogs and it seems that I was not the only one with this subject on the heart today.  So I would like to share with you four other blogs that speak in different (and somewhat more eloquent) ways about this subject.  And let me know what you think too!

Tiffany, whose blog I stalk because I love her open, honest perspective writes about not judging a book by its "functioning" label.

Meriah writes about "suffering" from the perspective of a mom who has "walked a mile" in disabled shoes.

Amy must really live inside my head because she has taken all my thoughts and bits of conversation on this subject and put them eloquently down on paper blog.  I am a forever fan now!

Megan,  my very dear friend talks about her sister and her desire to bring home  her own precious gift. 

Every single human being has gifts...what are yours?  I think Reagan's are being cute and making people love her.  :)


Megan said...

Very nicely said Shauna! Reagan is definitely maximizing her gifts! <3

Anonymous said...

She sure is good at using her gift of cuteness!!!!

Amy said...

Great post!! :) Thanks for including us! :))