Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Spread the WORD to End the Word
In line with today, I feel compelled to write another post. Speaking from a personal standpoint, I have never liked the word retard or retarded. I have certainly never accepted anyone "making fun" of those with intellectual disabilities... ask anyone who has known me for any period of time. Even prior to becoming a parent to a child with limited abilities, I have spoken out about my disgust over words just like this. In response, I've heard it all:
"You're being too sensitive."
"Stop taking things so seriously."
"I'm joking, it's just a word."
And now that I'm a mommy to a little man with hydranencephaly, a severe intellectually debilitating condition that would have quickly prompted the r-word by definition in the past, as well as a passionate advocate with one of the most sensitive hearts when it comes to children and adults with limited abilities; I hear even worse response:
"This is only an issue now, because in the past retarded kids were put in institutions or killed. And retarded adults didn't even exist."
Really? Yes, that is a true response I have received in the past...
Thankfully, I'm not the only one who has encountered such alarming response to a simple request for human respect and a better choice of words in casual conversation. Our friend Ellen, mommy to Max who blogs at Love That Max, made the following video:
And on a more personal level for me, the many faces of why this word should most generally be replaced by another, more suitable and less hurtful, word:
Children living with hydranencephaly are defying all odds against them with every second of every day that they live on earth, while living forever in the hearts of those who love them once they've joined the heavens. They possess an indomitable strength, one that most adults could never encompass, with a will to shine in the darkest of circumstances... not without limitations, but certainly not a part of society that deserves the disrespect that this word poses.