Wednesday, March 7, 2012
the r word.
it was march 26th, and i had just met this awesome baby boy and my entire life changed.
the word retarded used to be one of my most used words.
i used it to describe everything...from the weather, to something silly that happened to me, to the way someone was behaving.
it didn't mean much to me.
i threw it around without ever giving it a second thought.
then i had a child that was born "retarded".
retarded by definition means slow to learn, delayed.
i read that word on the internet when i was researching what down syndrome was.
yes, it stung like hell.
reading that word next to the definition of down syndrome, a chromosomal disorder that is apparent in every single cell of my son's body, made my face flushed and angry, sad and upset.
my son is not retarded! i pleaded in my mind.
but he is.
in every sense of the true defintion he is.
the problem with the word retarded isn't its webster dictionary defintion.
the problem with the word retarded is what our slang language has defined it to mean.
stupid, dumb, worthless...
my child is not any of these things.
and when i hear someone use that word to describe things, most times they are not speaking about my child directly.
i get that.
but still, others do think that children with disabilites are retarded--and no, that doesn't mean slow or delayed--they mean stupid, dumb, worthless.
and in saying that, they imply that my child is too.
i even hear josh's friends, 10 year old boys, using that word!
and where are they learning that? from us!
i even hear 65 year olds using that word!
come one guys, we are so much better than that!
today i am renewing my pledge to NEVER use that word ever again.
it is GONE from my vocabulary.
and i sincerly hope that you banish it too.
there are lots of other words you can use in its place...like superstar!, awesome, smart, funny, sweet, energetic, spunky, adorable.
these are much better words to describe my ben boy.
Posted by amy jupin at 8:57 AM