Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The R-Word



That is so retarded!

How many of us have casually thrown around one of those terms? I'll be the first to admit it. When I catch myself tempted to use the r-word, I remember--my son is medically considered mentally retarded. How would I feel to hear taunts of "Retard! Retard! Retard!" aimed at my beautiful boy?

Because yeah. Make no mistake--it's offensive. And not just to people with mental challenges or disabilities. It's offensive to the people who love them. Who care for them. Who dream for them.

Yes, Isaiah's mental and physical growth have been clinically "retarded", but if you call him a retard, be prepared for a fight. Correction: prepare to get the beating of your life. And should you survive it, prepare to be schooled as well. There are so many other things Isaiah is. His disabilities don't define him or anyone else like him. "Retarded" relegates him to the rank of inferior, which clearly he is not.

So as the movement is on to eradicate the r-word from our daily vocabulary, maybe we can all benefit from remembering another "r-word": RESPECT.


Tonya said...

Before there was a movement, I was already fighting this battle...even before I had my own child with special needs.
I have NEVER liked that word.
Can say that that word is not part of and never been part of my vocabulary.

Michele said...

Well said! WELL SAID!!!