Sunday, October 2, 2011

31 FOR 21, Day 2

I think we’ve all said it at one time or another.
“That’s retarded.” “You’re a retard.”

I used to foolishly utter these phrases without giving a second thought. Today? I CRINGE when I hear the "R" word.

I don’t view my son as being “retarded.” I never have and I never will. TAKE THAT, OUTDATED TEXTBOOKS! However, this word is unfortunately used to make fun of or describe individuals with intellectual disabilities. You see, this is where it becomes personal and hurtful.

Next time the person in front of you forgets to use his or her blinker, please don’t call them a “retard.” If you’re one of those people that just HAVE to say something when someone does something that offends you or makes you mad, please use another word. I can think of several different expletives that don't begin with the letter "r". I won’t list them here, but you get my drift. If your friend does something stupid, please don’t refer to him or her as “retarded.”

I’m sure you’re wondering WHY I care? After all, you’re not talking about MY child. I know most people don’t mean it in a derogatory manner. Like cursing, I think this word “retard” is used mostly out of habit. Well, it’s a bad habit.

No, I’m not being overly sensitive. This word is often used to describe something NEGATIVE. Most of all, it's hurtful.

When you’re complimenting one of your friends, you wouldn’t say: Your hair looks retarded.

You would say: Your hair looks nice.

My point is this: The word “retarded” is not a word that’s used to describe something nice or pleasant. I understand the need to express your feelings and I’m all for that! However, there are so many other words that you could use. Next time you’re about to say, “That’s retarded.” Or “You’re such a retard”…I want you to think about this face:

The term “Mentally Retarded” is outdated. My son and all of his friends with an extra chromosome are NOT retarded. Again, TAKE THAT OUTDATED TEXTBOOKS. They have an intellectual disability. Most of all, they have feelings...and parents who love them. Think about how much you love your brother, sister, mom or dad. Now, think about how you would feel if someone were to do something to hurt one of them. Multiply those feelings by 100000000. That's how we (parents) feel when you use the word "retarded."


According to NDSS.ORG:

While it is unfortunately clinically acceptable to say “mental retardation,” you should use the more socially acceptable “intellectual disability”. NDSS strongly condemns the use of the word "retarded" in any derogatory context. Using this word is hurtful and suggests that people with disabilities are not competent.

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