I rarely hear anyone use the word "retarded" anymore. I don't know why. I don't know if it's the people I hang out with or that the word has fallen out of favor with the general public, but either way, I am glad.
It's a hurtful word.
You may think that when someone says, "That's so r-" or "I am so r-" that they aren't really thinking about people with cognitive disabilities. It's just another word that means foolish or forgetful or uncool or dull.
But it's not.
According to dictionary.com, there are two definitions of "retard" that are disparaging slang:
- a mentally retarded person
- a person who is stupid, obtuse or ineffective in some way.
I don't think Ben is stupid, obtuse or ineffective. But he will likely have the diagnosis of mental retardation (now termed intellectual or cognitive disability).
When you use the word to describe yourself or a friend or a situation and you mean something negative, it reflects on my son.
Even if you don't mean it that way, could you choose to be kind and leave it out of your vocabulary?
Today, Wednesday, March 6th, is Spread the Word to End the Word Awareness Day. You can find more information here.
This sweet, huggable, smart, funny, mischievous, completely adorable little boy
~ and his family ~