Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The R Word (What It Means To Me)

Today is "Spread the Word, to End the Word" day. This means that us awesome Mama's of special needs kids are spreading the word that using the word "retard" is disrespectful. I'll be the first to admit that before having Isaac, especially when I was very young I used the word many times. It was funny to say "you are so retarded" around my friends. Yes, sometimes I even made fun of people with disabilities because it made me feel better about myself. How sad to think that I was so ignorant and disrespectful! How I wish I could turn back time and apologize to them.

It's no joke to throw this word around.

There are many ways this term is used. I realize that when a Dr. says "mentally retarded", they are saying this in a medical term. Even though I wish it was described differently, such as my child has a developmental disability. In medical terms, such as a description of Isaac's chromosomal disorder it is said that he would be "profoundly retarded." Now when I think of someone in that state, I'm thinking of a person who just lays in bed all day with their mouth wide open. No interaction, no smiling, no understanding. That's just not him!
Now if Autumn were to hear anyone saying that her brother is a "retard" or "retarded", she would seriously have to kick some butt! Keep in mind that she's a black belt in taekwondo:) It is just plain mean throw it out there when talking about a child with a disability. In this case, I'm NOT OK with it and you would have to deal with the grizzly bear Mama too.

Even though Isaac doesn't have Down Syndrome, this is a perfect example of a siblings love towards a brother or sister with a disability. Please watch and thank you for being kind to people with disabilities.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh boy! Don't get me started. They even taught me in college that developmentally disabled or any disabled student or person should be referred to and known for the individual they are, and not as a disabled person. But retarded! They need to omit that word from the English language! It is so demeaning and hurtful.(Can you tell I'm an advocate for the disabled?).