Tag - The R-word

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Taking Back The Word Retarded
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You’re Not Still Using The R-Word Are You?
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Words That Must Die
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A Different R-Word Post
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The R-Word

Taking Back The Word Retarded

  As the parent of a child with developmental challenges, delays, cognitive disabilities… however you want to label it, I often flip-flop between two perspectives. 1. Wanting to let my fists fly (which is pretty hysterical if you’ve ever seen me try to punch something) on anyone who uses the word retarded. 2. Simply allowing the word to bounce off me and ricochet back at them. People who use the word retard are outing themselves as people I’d rather not know. Their word choice says everything about them and nothing about my child or anyone with special needs. I seem to be juxtaposed between violence and a “so be it” attitude so instead of choosing a perspective, I’m creating a new one. I’m going to take back the R-Word. Others have done it—taken a word used to discriminate and have claimed it as their own. By doing so they’ve taken the wind out of many biggoty sails. My daughter is retarded… Okay wait, I need to ease my way into this because just typing that made me squirm. Those seven letters pack a punch. Retard means delayed or slow. By definition, my daughter is slow. She’s slow to anger. She’s[…]

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You’re Not Still Using The R-Word Are You?

  Last year in the school yard, children repeatedly asked my son if his sister was retarded. When he finally told me about it I was ready to bang some heads together. Luckily my child is more mature than his hot-headed mother. He chose to take action by making this VIDEO to present to his peers resulting in meaningful conversations and a greater understanding about what it’s like to have a sibling with special needs. The fact is, children follow so it’s our job as adults to be kind, educated, moral leaders. When adults don’t set a good example we end up with a new generation of ignorant, intolerant adults. Out for dinner recently an adult at our table joked about something retarded they did at work. I was shocked, but I didn’t say anything.  How is this still happening in 2014? If I stay silent I’m part of the problem. This frustrates me. As the parent of a child with special needs am I expected to police the internet and the world around me like an R-word detecting watch dog? I’d really rather not. You might think that retard(ed) is merely a word and that we—the people who love[…]

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A Different R-Word Post

  At a recent group speech therapy session with my daughter I had a run in with the R-Word. But not in the way you might think. Parents watch these classes via closed circuit television from a separate room. It’s usually mothers, but at this session there were two dads in the mix. As the other moms and I watched and listened intently to the class, the two dads chatted about golf and business and other random topics. Instead of hyper-focussing on their kids the entire hour, they were relaxed, enjoying some social time, talking about subjects other than their children. Imagine that.  Whenever I’m in the presence of other moms who also have a child with special needs, the go-to topic of conversation is always our children. “What’s your child’s diagnosis? When did they start walking? Who’s their OT? Seizures? Are they on the spectrum?” etc. etc. etc. Truthfully, it’s kind of exhausting. And then here are these two dads—chatty, laid back, unconcerned.   I eavesdropped as one of the dads relayed this story about his daughter to the other dad . “We’re at this indoor playground and I see Kira push another kid. The kid’s mother runs over and starts[…]

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The R-Word

  March 7th, 2012  is Spread The Word To End The Word Day, part of a campaign started by The Special Olympics to educate people about the offensive nature of derogatory terms like “retard.”  I signed the pledge and proudly display the badge on my blog. I’ve written about my feelings about the r-word and many others have blogged about it too. It boggles my mind that people (some who I’ve quietly un-friended online) continue to use the word, in jest. It’s not funny.  The r-word is “hate speech.” End of story.  Love that Max (written by Ellen Seidman) is a favourite link on my blog roll. In a recent post, Would You Call My Child A Retard Ellen offers up some of the idiotic comments people have made in defensive of using the word retarded. Unbelievable. In answer to your question, Ellen… ….no. I would not call your child a retard. I would call him Max. And it breaks my heart to think somebody would look at my child and without even knowing her, call her retarded. Her name is Avery. This is Ellen’s video. Please watch. 

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