Please take 1 minute (really they are short!) out of your day to watch these two videos below, it means a lot to me now- very short and to the point. Don't forget to pause my music at the bottom of the page so you can hear the videos! Oh, and then read my post!
Okay, as a heads up, March 31st, 2009 is Spread the Word to End the Word. In case you're wondering what the "r-word" is, it's retard or retarded. Let's just be perfectly honest here- 4 months ago would I be promoting such a thing? The answer is probably no. Why would I? It really didn't effect me or anyone I knew and honestly I probably would not think much of it. But as with any cause, you usually don't get too involved unless it effects you directly or someone you care about or cared about.
Now, let's be honest again, we've all said this word and if you haven't that's wonderful! I know I have, although not often and of course not recently since I've been educated about it. But I know in my life-time I've said things like "Oh, that's so retarded" or "I'm such a retard for doing that." Not meaning to harm anyone by saying it or so I thought. I simply meant, how foolish of me. Have I ever referred to a person with learning disabilities as retarded? -Never, and that's the honest truth and if you have I am asking you now to please stop. Don't feel bad, just stop. Simple as that. But I think that most of us don't do that, we do what I have done before and just slip it into our every day language, casually, again not meaning to hurt any one's feelings. But we are hurting some one's feelings just by saying "that was so retarded" or "can you believe this person in this car, (while you're in traffic) what a retard!" People, there are sooo many other words you can use instead of retard or retarded.
First off and really this should be a given in the year 2009, when talking about someone with Down syndrome or some other learning disability just say "someone with an intellectual disability". Like for example in a conversation-"there were children with intellectual disabilities (or chidren with Down syndrome) there as well as children with Cancer" NOT "there were retarded children there as well as children with Cancer". I mean, come on, this should be obvious and I realize that using the word retarded when referring to a person with Down syndrome was a word that was excepted long ago but not any more so just don't say that, please!
Now, for the one that is more commonly used and again I will admit, I'm guilty of it as well, ex:"Oh, how retarded of me to do that!!" SAY "Oh, how foolish, (silly, ridiculous, or a million other words you can use), of me to do that!!" Especially around children- just watch the second video (I realize it's a little corny, but teenagers say this all the time and they get it from adults!) I don't even like Ainsley saying "that's stupid!" We say "that's silly" in our house.
So to my family and friends whom I know love us and are supporting us with the birth of Bennett, please do this for me. Stop saying this word, retard or retarded and let others know in a nice way that it's a hurtful word to many. Please don't feel bad for saying it in the past because I know you didn't ever mean to be hurtful, most people don't.
On a very different note but I'm going to put it out there, people with Down syndrome are NO LONGER referred to as mongoloids. This is offensive as well and it's just not used anymore, simple as that. Again, if you've used this word in the past because this it's what you thought the medical field used, don't feel bad, just know that it isn't used anymore and simply say "people with Down syndrome". I'm not trying to be mean with this post or angry at anyone, just getting to the point and bringing awareness to it because I think it's a simple thing to do- change some of the words we use because they are hurtful, whether you think so or not, to someone. So thank you!