Why short breaks and not respite?  (Read 6016 times) Print

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jol  March 08, 2010, 06:38:02 PM

i was recently rightly admonished for using the word 'respite' in a meeting, and below is the reason why -- (although in the example i was using - an emergency /impending family medical circumstance implosion requiring near immediate residential short break of a week - the word 'respite' seemed unfortunately very suitable -- as the solution at that time was also worrisome; -  a week 'short break' on the busy  children's ward of Lancaster Hospital. I hope 6 years on, that there are alternative residential placements or arrangements with neighbouring counties for such a facility, but i am yet to hear of any...  )

"Why short breaks and not respite?

The literal definition of ‘respite’ is ‘the laying down of a burden’ or a ‘temporary cessation of something that it tiring or painful’. This language is not positive. The term ‘respite’ reinforces the view that disabled children are passive recipients who have things done to them, rather than active citizens with lives to live. EDCM believe that the wider transformation for services for disabled children must be cultural, not just financial.

The language of disability has rightly changed over the years, and the term ‘short breaks’ is part of that process. The crucial difference in short breaks is that both the parent and the child get a break that suits their individual needs. As we move towards transformation, the child’s break is valid and valued by all."

http://www.edcm.org.uk/edcm/campaigns/short_breaks.aspx

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val  March 08, 2010, 07:40:39 PM

Interesting to read the 'definition'.

It shows language is ever evolving and words that were accepted as the normal 20 years ago are now regarded as archaic at best or sometimes downright insulting.

Will try and use the term 'short break' in future which hopefully will be provided for all who need it, before the family reach breaking point and it is considered to fit the definition of 'respite' and all the negative associations the definition infers.

Val

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