The Word Retarded Is Not OK as a Joke

I need to vent for a moment. This is a post I want to draw attention to something. I am not one to point fingers typically. Society is becoming very fragile is so many ways, and a tough skin is important. For the most part, I try to let things just roll off my back, this, however, is a subject that cuts me like a knife. I have actually broken down in tears in public over this issue. I have so much trouble hearing people say that something is Retarded.

Prejudice Applies To Mental Disabilities Too

These days political correctness is a big deal. People are so afraid about offending someone that we all watch what we say. Discrimination and prejudice is a real problem, and it deserves attention. We should be considerate to those around us. Racial slang is not ok. As a society, we know this. There is one word though that does not get the same attention. A word that has become slang, an insult. A word that people don’t find politically incorrect, yet it is a word that cuts me like a knife when I hear it. The “R” word…..Retarded. If we catch our child using a racial slur, do we not correct them? If we hear someone making comments about someone’s sexual orientation, does that not stir the pot? Why then is it ok to use a word given to describe limited mental capabilities as a joke?

Saying something is retarded is taking a condition that affects so many people and lessening it. When people say something is retarded, they are essentially saying it is dumb. They are not saying that it has limited mental capabilities.

Why do we have to be sensitive to sexual orientation, gender, race, body type, and not be sensitive to mental capabilities? Do we assume that people who have limited development do not understand, so it is therefore alright?

The Definition of RETARDED:  slow or limited in intellectual or emotional development or academic progress.

By that definition, any child with any learning disability can fit into that category. Slow learners can fit into this category. My daughter, my princess falls into this definition. One of my biggest fears is that one day someone she loves will use this word as a slang word and that she will hear. That she will recognize that people say it about her.

Sadly, I have heard people in leadership positions not considering the weight of their words. I see people I care deeply about using it as an insult. I see teenagers using it as a hashtag or description. This is NOT OK!

Even before I had a child with special needs I hated that word. It is now a word that hurts me because it defines my daughter.

Well, as a parent of a disabled child with limited mental capabilities, I can say it is NOT OK. It is NOT OK to use it as an insult. It is NOT OK to use it as slang, and it is NOT OK to use it as a label. Mental retardation is a condition. It can not be helped. It was not a choice.

Please remember that children learn from watching. When a child hears a parent use a word, it is in their vocabulary. If we want to see a change in the accepted normals in society, it comes from teaching our children not only in words but also an example.


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