The disability community often criticizes the term “special needs” (it’s coming up a lot lately because Andrew Yang uses it, typically when he asks if anyone in his audience knows someone who is autistic but never seems to ask if anyone in his audience is autistic), rightfully pointing out that it’s not so much that the needs themselves really differ in kind from the needs anyone else has, but that some people require more support than others in order to have those needs met, and so therefore the term is quite (ahem) needlessly othering. One thing I haven’t come across that occurred to me today, although it’s probably out there, is that the term also devalues those it excludes, in that it reinforces the idea that everyone else’s needs are effectively plug-and-play and more or less simply satisfied by consumerism and commodification. The term “special needs” essentially dehumanizes and depersonalizes everyone.

Hello. My name is Bix. @bix