Wednesday, March 6, 2013

That Damn "R" Word

OK, I admit it. I used to say the "R" word every now and then.  Back then it didn't seem like a big deal, it has become a part of pop culture's vocabulary. But, that's the problem.... the big, big, problem.  That is why we need today.  March 6th is Spread the Word to End the Word.  The word being retard, and all of its different variations.

Today people like me, a mom with a perfect baby boy with Down syndrome are speaking out.  Our message is simple.  Please stop using that word.  It is a word that makes us cringe, even sick to our stomach.

In the first few hours as I sat there holding my baby boy, trying to process his diagnosis, one of things that popped into my mind is..... I dread the day my little boy comes home in tears because someone calls him the "R" word.  With everyone saying it these days with such ease, it seems inevitable that it will happen.  But, it will hurt my little guy and me as his mother, a lot.

I don't think for a second my son is, even medically speaking, that awful word.  He is so smart, and with advancements in medicine and education, I know my son's generation is going to have higher IQ's and accomplish more then ever before.  But, for now unfortunately, the medical community still chooses to use that word and even more unfortunately, many of you do too. That breaks my heart, for my son, for everyone under the special needs spectrum.

So stop. Please stop.  If you catch yourself saying it, think of my little man.  Look at his face, would you want to hurt his feelings?


  1. Such a powerful reminder of the power of the words we choose (or chose not) to use. Thank you for sharing this, Sara!

  2. Words have power. We have to be aware of that and take responsibility for what we wield.

    Thanks for this post and thank you for participating in the blog Symposium at Down Syndrome Uprising.