Skip to main content

Zoom Text:

Labels as Self Fulfilling Prophecies

All of these trends did not mean that there was not still a very heavy emphasis on labeling and limiting people. Limited and limiting expectations remained inherent in the definition of disability for many.

For instance, in the May 1982 issue of Pediatric Annals there appeared a table: Prognosis and Expected Functional Level based on degree of retardation. For each "level of mental retardation" expected outcomes were described in terms of academic potential, activities of daily living, travel capability, and vocational ability.

For instance, under "vocational ability" it was said that for those who are "severe" the prognosis is "sheltered employment only, special training required". On the one hand, we were beginning to learn how to support people labeled "severely, profoundly and multiply disabled" to engage in supported employment.

On the other hand, pediatricians were being given information that would lead parents not to expect that kind of outcome for their children, and then quite possibly not to seek it out. [Pediatric Annals 11:5/May 1982 page 425]

American Academy of Pediatrics
Sheltered Employment
Sheltered Employment