“That’s so RETARDED!”
“I feel retarded for saying/doing that.”
“What a retard!”
Have you ever heard someone, or heard yourself say any of the above statements?
How about, “I’m sorry, but your child is retarded.”
When you say things like “I’m/that is so retarded” or “what a retarded thing to say/do”, you are not just cutting down those that have said or done something out of the so-called “norm”. You are hurting those with in the Disability Community. Especially those that have cognitive/mental delays and/or brain injuries. You are implying that they are stupid. Even without aiming the R-word directly at them.
Yes, there is a medical definition of “mental retardation” and “mentally retarded”. But now, as a move and as a means to help end the use of the R-word, medical professionals have become known to now use the terms “mentally delayed”, “mentally handicapped”, “mentally disabled” or “cognitively delayed/handicapped/disabled”. Where in those latter terms do you see “retarded”? Nowhere. And that is a GREAT thing!
Take my pal, Holly over at Holly’s House; Not A Perfect Mom’s Blog and her little girl, Brooke, who has Downs Syndrome. Brooke is what you would call “Retarded”, but that word is NEVER used. She is cognitively delayed, but perfectly cute (and sly) in every way imaginable. And like Holly, I deplore the R-word. And I think it shows one’s ignorance when a person uses the term in a way of means to cut themselves or someone else down. Intentionally or not!
When I was little, I required a trache to assist me with my breathing due to other health issues with my lungs and airway. I had that thing in my throat a good chunk.. no my entire childhood. Had it removed 17 days before my 13th birthday. For years I was ridiculed, called names, mocked and made the butt of my peers’ jokes. And…
I was labeled “Retarded” by children and adults alike. Especially the adults that knew NOTHING of me, except my appearance out in public.
For years, I had to fight that R-word label. Seeing as I was NOT cognitively/mentally disabled. And even if I was, would that really and honestly be a “good” name to label me with? I didn’t think so either.
Please spare me the “Politically Correct” crap. I really don’t need to, or want to hear about us parents of Special Needs kids (or being a currently or formerly disabled person ourselves, possibly) getting all so-called ‘uppity’ over a “word”.
Maybe if you had to wear the label for a day, or even a week, and see how it feels, then rest assured, you would change your mind in a hot second, my friend!
So, join me and take the pledge to “Spread the word to end the Word”.
Go to R-Word; Spread the word to end the Word and tell everyone that you want to help us collectively say “this is wrong and it needs to stop!” today. I did.