Eliza Grace was born on March 15, 2006, at 26 weeks, 4 days, weighing 1 pound 4 ounces and measuring just 11.5 inches long. She is the light of my soul and this is the story of our life in the big city.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

It's Not Just a Word.

I know some people get annoyed with me when I asked them to not use the word "retard" or "retarded." In the early years when Eliza barely spoke and would bang her head on the floor seemingly endlessly or exhibited some other non-typical behavior, I heard the word from adults and children alike (I assume the children learned it from their loving parents). When I heard the word I wanted to quite literally, beat the person senseless, but that's not really productive. now is it?

Robert Rummel-Hudson has blogged on why we should refrain from using this word as a derogatory term and the effect that using this word has on parents of special needs children and the children themselves. You can read his views on his blog.

Now do you get it?


Barb said...

I hate that this message still isn't out there, that kids in our schools say retard and faggot and "you're gay" on a daily basis as if it is okay. They do not see the bigger picture, and it is our job as adults to teach them that this is not okay, that there are human beings behind those labels. Loved the blog post you linked to. Thanks for sending us there. It will help me as I continue to talk to young people about these very things.

Life with Kaishon said...

I am not a fan of the word at all! Your daughter is adorable.

Laraf123 said...

Nope, it's not just a word. Some of the children I work with on a daily basis do not have IQs in the average range. They are not retarded. They have cognitive disabilities and need accommodations to make learning accessible just like someone who is blind has a disability and needs books in braille so they can learn. As far as I'm concerned, the "r" word has no place in our schools or our communities.

artfulwhimsies said...

Hi Anne~ as a Mother to a precious daughter with Down Syndrome, I also despise that word. We try to teach acceptance by example.

Antony said...

Words are powerful. We just did an interview with Patch Adams (you may want to listen to it). One quote of his when talking about the hospital that he ran for years was they never labelled anyone. "They met people where they were." Compassion requires that. People are all born with gifts. Our differences make for the rich tapestry of life.