Friday, February 12, 2010

Spread the Word... Stop the R Word

I really don't like the "R" word. I don't like it. I find that it is a degrading and rather ugly word and I just don't like it. Have I used it? YES I have used this word. But since having a child with rather significant delays I have found the R word even more yucky. Like so yucky it makes my tummy hurt when I hear it.

Tyler is not retarded. He does have significant delays and some of them are mentally disabling. Again, he is not retarded. The words that we have to use to describe our children come back and haunt us constantly. According to several laws, some delays make our babies, our sweet special babies, be labeled as Retarded. But its the words we hear around that cause use the most pain. You see. Most of the time this word is used in a general "descriptive word" that usually has the others listening, quickly laughing all because you used the R word. It is to moms and dads of kids like ours that hurt.

Because kids say what they hear they repeat these words. When you say "they are so retarded" Your sweet innocent children repeat that. And my sweet and innocent special child hears. And having to have them hear the words we would rather NOT use in their IEP's it makes these words sting even worse.

Sitting at dinner with extended family a few weeks ago that word was uttered at the dinner table. It took EVER effort I had to not say a word.( And trust me I wanted to say something... In fact I almost got up from the table and sat in the bathroom. ) They think that because Tyler isn't "retarded" then the WORD shouldn't matter. But it does. Because really Tyler "could" be considered "retarded". He is delayed, he can't talk, he doesn't do normal things. When using it to call someone retarded, isn't that what you mean?

Talking to my brother on the phone he used it ( sorry B.. I am totally calling you out) and when he realized he said he, apologized for using the word. It is such a common phrase. So common that I am buying him a thesaurus for his birthday :)

Those of us with kiddo's with extra needs, extra chromosomes and incredibly delayed and even just a little delayed we want that word not used.

Please for the next week or 2 sit and listen. Listen and when you hear that word. STOP and say something. Politely ask them to NOT use that word.

And if that doesn't work.... give them a thesaurus for their birthday!

A elementary school is launching a campaign to STOP the R word from being used. Sign the petition and pledge to do your best to not use the R word.

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