"Special Needs": A term very often associated with people with disabilities, even though they may not like it.
This video by CoorDown, which was released to mark World Down Syndrome Day on March 21, sarcastically lists down a few scenarios when needs could be termed "special".
Like if people with Down Syndrome had to eat dinosaur egg, wouldn't that be quite special?
The message, given by a group of people with Down Syndrome, is quite simple.
"What we really need is education, jobs, opportunities, friends and some love. Just like everybody else."
The #NotSpecialNeeds website points out that while individuals with Down Syndrome may need some form of extra assistance, it doesn't make their common human need "special".
The word "special" segregates and excludes people with disabilities. It implies that they are some how less than persons without disabilities. It is also offensive to many with disabilities.
The euphemism, the site explains, "serves to distance people with 'special needs,' as it implies that their needs can only be met in a 'special' way or by 'specialists.' This complicates inclusion of people with disabilities in regular education and employment."
It also prevents people from realising that disability, too, is after all a part of human diversity.
Also, simply switching "special needs" with other similarly stigmatising phrases such as "additional needs" does not help.
Just refer to the person by their name, like we call everybody else. Or if you had to refer to their disability, state the name of the condition.