Hastings, R.P., Sonuga-Barke, E.J.S. and Remington, B.
An analysis of labels for people with learning disabilities
British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 32, (4), .
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There have been many changes in the terminology used to describe people with learning disabilities in recent years. One of the arguments for «new» terms is their more positive connotations. This claim was investigated in a study in which sixth-form pupils (age 16-19) completed semantic differentials for contemporary and older labels referring to learning disabilities. Apart from the label «exceptional», all had very similar negative connotations. The problems arising from using denotative terms inaccurately in order to foster more positive images of individuals with learning disabilities are briefly discussed. Alternative ways of deciding between labels are suggested
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