For as long as I can remember there has been a word that has made be angry.
A word that should not be used ever.
A word that I find so ignorant.
That word is the R- word Retard(ed).
Retardation was originally introduced as a clinical term, mental retardation or mentally retarded used to describe those with an intellectual disability but now in society it is used to degrade someone and to insult those that have mental disabilities. It is also banded around society and used as an insult, calling someone stupid, or dumb.
Now the medical professionals are doing their best to dispel negative attitudes and break from the offensive stereotypes that this word brings to disabled people and to update the terminology they use and replace “mental retardation” with “intellectual disability”.
I love this change of language and believe its been a long time coming.
i first heard the R- word when I was in primary school. I hadn’t a clue what it meant and asked my Granddad who even then knew it wasn’t a good word. He tried to explain a little to me but I’m not sure back then I really grasped what it meant but I did make a decision not to use it. I confess I didn’t know how offensive or how painful it was until someone asked me if my daughter was retarded.
In fact I remember the moment like it was yesterday it was an old neighbour of ours who when asked about my daughter asked me if she would be a R-word.
To be honest I don’t know what i replied but I do remember falling to my knees sobbing once I had closed my front door. My heart was broken to hear my daughter spoken about with such a derogatory word.
My daughter was not retarded she was a bright, clever amazing young lady who had a disability, and along with all the amazing children and adults I have met with disabilities she has the right to be spoken about with respect and dignity.
We need to stop the ignorance of this word.
I ask you all to pledge to end the use of this word.
I have made my pledge in honour today of an amazing young man who has my heart ‘Boston’ and for all the other children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
Join me and sign today.