Disabilities Etiquette

Disability Etiquette Pointers

Babies Can’t Wait offers a one-day Workshop/Consultation on Individualizing for Parents who have Intellectual Disabilities.  Here is some information on disabilities etiquette from that Workshop:

When speaking about a person with an intellectual disability:

  • Refer to the person first and the disability second (i.e. “the person with an intellectual disability” rather than “the intellectually disabled person”.)
  • Avoid the following terms because they disempower people with disabilities:
    “invalid, defect, handicap, victim, suffers from, a patient”
  • Avoid patronizing terms that imply the person with an intellectual disability is overly courageous, brave, special, or superhuman.

When speaking to a person with an intellectual disability:

  • Speak to the person in clear sentences, using simple words and concrete (rather than abstract) concepts.
  • Speak directly to the person who is your client, even if there is a helper person with him or her.
  • Stay focused on the person as she/he responds to you.
  • Treat adults as adults. Don’t use baby talk or talk down to people with intellectual disabilities.
  • Phrase questions in a neutral way to elicit accurate information. People with intellectual disabilities may be anxious to please. Verify responses by asking the question in different way.
  • Be patient and allow the person to take his/her time in making a decision.
  • Clear signage with pictograms is helpful, especially for directions.
  • Be aware that changes in routine or environment may require a period of
  • adjustment.

For more information on Disability Etiquette, check out the following resources:
United Spinal Association
Memphis Center for Independent Living
Easter Seals

For more information on this BCW workshop, contact Linda Kimura at Linda.Kimura@babiescantwait.com


The BCW Lady says:  We SING in all our Workshops, accompanied by my on my trusty Ukulele.  I love to take traditional songs and put new words to them – words that celebrate what home visitors and teachers do – Here’s a sample:

That’s What Home Visitors Do!
Lyrics: ©2002 Linda Kimura; Melody: from Disney’s Cinderella (the Bibbidy Bobbidy Bo Song)

Driving the distance to make home visits
Helping the families set goals
Always remembering to follow through
That’s what home visitors do!

 Planning with parents for children’s learning
Health and nutrition for you
Parent-child groups teach expectations
That’s what home visitors do!

Now, making home visit means keeping a smile on your face
But the thing-a-ma-bob that does the job
Is building up trust every day

Teach cues and signals while you talk story
Constantly learning what’s new
Make up home visits the end of the week
That’s what home visitors do!
That’s what home visitors
Those great home visitors
That’s what home visitors do!


Digital Teens

A recent report from Common Sense Media’s Program for the Study of Children and Media provides us with an interesting look at how teen’s use of social media impacts their lives.  Common Sense surveyed 1,030 teens ages 13 to 17 in late February and early March 2012.


Here is one of the report’s highlights:
How do teens prefer to communicate?
In person 49%
Through texting 33%
Through a social networking site 7%
On the phone 4%
In an online game 3%
Through video chat 2%
IM’ing 1%
Email 1%
Twitter 1%

I’m sure all of us who are older than teens are happy to see that in person is still the favorite means of communication.  But we (those of us over 21 and particularly those of us over 30) need to recognize that teens’ next favorite type of communication is texting.  Not the phone, not video chatting, not emailing – it’s overwhelmingly texting.

Why is this important for us to recognize? If we work with teens and young adults, we have a responsibility to communicate with them in the ways THEY understand and respect.   Just because we don’t think texting is wonderful doesn’t mean it isn’t – we grew up in another time.  With the rapid advancement of technology, each generation becomes even more different than the last.







So be happy teens still like to talk to each other in person.  AND support their right to choose texting over phone calls and video chatting and yes even Facebook (which most of us Old Folks are pretty comfortable with these days :-)

Here is a link to the whole report

Warmly, Linda, the Babies Can’t Wait Lady

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Friday Fun with Children

What to do with infants and toddlers this weekend?  It doesn’t have to be amazing, or over-the-top, and you don’t have to be Daddy Disneyland (or Mommy Disneyland).  In other words, use what you have in the yard and the house.  Children appreciate your time with them more than anything. (When you always take them places, their time is spent more with the “places” than with you)

Lie on your back on the carpet and kick your legs.  Hana and Andrew made a game out of just that.  Run in the grass!  Look how much fun Hana is having just running across the lawn.  It’s not how much it costs or how far you have to travel, it’s the time you spend interacting with your children that counts.  Happy Friday!

For more tips, LIKE our Facebook page HERE and follow us on Pinterest HERE.

Warmly, Linda, the BCW Lady

Time to book training?

It’s already July 6th.  From a normal perspective, that means we aren’t even to the middle of summer.  But from a Head Start/EHS perspective, that means a rush to get preservice training planned and scheduled.

At Babies Can’t Wait, we normally schedule 3 to 4 months in the future. So, some of our consultants are already booked until October. But others still have preservice time available.

Please contact me if you are interested in bringing our expert consultants to your program.

In August, we have openings in:

  • Promoting Positive Prenatal Services Training+Consultation (PPPO)
  • Fiscal Consultation

In September, we have openings in:

  • ERSEA Consultation
  • PPPO Training+Consultation
  • Fiscal Consultation
  • Our newest training+consultation – Head, Shoulders, Knees, & Toes – The Health Check!

In October, all areas are open:

  • Relationship-based Training for EHS Home Visitors
  • EHS Group Socialization: Parent-Child Groups that Rock!
  • Advanced Home Visiting Strategies Training+Consultation
  • Early Literacy Training+Consultation
  • Cross-Cultural Communication Training+Consultation
  • Individualizing for Parents with Intellectual Disabilities Training+Consultation
  • Infant Toddler Development Training+Consultation
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, & Toes: The Health Check Training+Consultation
  • PPPO Training+Consultation
  • Fiscal Consultation
  • ERSEA Consultation

Hope you are all having a great summer!

Warmly, Linda, the BCW Lady

Home Visitors: Let’s Talk Story

“Talk Story” is a description of a speech style used frequently in Hawaii and other Pacific Islands.   The meaning behind it is to talk in a conversational manner rather than to teach or lecture someone. Talking Story means giving the family the opportunity to share as much of or as little of themselves as is comfortable.  For the home visitor, it means slowing down and listening – rather than always being the one asking questions and writing down answers. It means talking in a conversational style rather than asking questions like a researcher or teaching as if you were behind a podium.

Be professional.  When I use the phrase “Talk Story”, in relation to home visitors, I am adding a professional component to it.  As a home visitor, you are building a relationship with a family by your attitude and style.  But you are also in the home for more than just conversation.  You are there because your program has a mission and goals, and the children and families you visit somehow fit that mission and are appropriate for those goals.  So when a professional like you talks story, you are not only using it as a technique for building a relationship, but also as a teaching/training tool.

You may be paid to visit a family, but you are still a guest in the family’s home.   Use this opportunity wisely and Talk Story.  It can lessen fear, anxiety, anger and increase the beginnings of trust building.

Many people listen and learn better to a conversation or story than they do to a lecture or teaching.   Help put others and yourself at ease by being appropriately friendly and Talking Story.

Think back to trainings or workshops you have attended.  See if you can remember trainers who made you feel at ease, made you feel good about being in their session.  Now, think about what made you feel good.  Did the trainer acknowledge you? Smile at you with their eyes as well as their mouth?  Welcome you?  And what about their lecture and conversational style?  As a trainer myself, I know that it takes a very skillful trainer to stand up in front of participants, teach them, and make that teaching feel intimate, personal and friendly.  When expert trainers talk story, it’s more than just a conversation.  They get the training message (the information and learning) across to participants while using a conversational style.

Why am I telling you all this?  Because you are, in many ways, like those expert trainers.  You just do it one-to-one.  So your skill in talking story becomes even more important because lecturing and other didactic styles become even more obvious when there are only the two or three of you.  So practice talking story on home visits – you’ll find it gets easier and becomes more natural over time.
Warmly, Linda
The Babies Can’t Wait Lady

 Talking Story
Lyrics & Music: Linda Kimura
Ho’o ho’o ka’a na maka

 “Talk Story, talk story, we’ll sit and just talk story
The waves may rise, the sun may fall
But you and I, we’ll have it all
Talking story, talking story
Talking story, talking story
Brothers and sisters talk story” 

“Oh Auntie left and waved good bye
Sitting up in that plane so high
What shall we do without her smile?
Remember and talk story
Talking story, talking story
Talking story, talking story
Sisters all talk story”

 Na Keiki run; Na Keiki play
And you and I we watch them
They shine so bright, the sun looks down
And sees us all talk story
Talking story, talking story
Talking story, talking story
Sees us all talk story”









The Babies Can’t Wait Lady says: Focus on Intentionality – In the Voices DVD called “Caring for Infants and Young Children”, Pam Schiller offers suggestions to help home visitors and teachers find strategies that lead to more purposeful learning experiences for children.  Here are some of her ideas, as they appeared in the July 2011 Exchange Magazine in the article “More Purposeful and Intentional Infant and Toddler Care”.

1. Think of desired outcomes as you plan and move through daily routines. This will automatically lead you to a more purposeful and intentional direction.
2. Strengthen your knowledge of research supporting early development. You will be more effective in selecting beneficial outcomes.
3. Remember teaching is as much about following as about leading.  Home Visitors and teachers who are keen observers of children learn as much from the children as the children learn from them.  All are striving to be intentional.