Spread the Word

To end the word.

What if it were your child? 

I have rehashed many posts on this subject in my head. I have gone over and over about how to make the most impact with people on what it means to hear the word retard. There isn't anything that I can think of that is so earth shattering to others that it really sticks. But I will continue. SO here goes.

You know.. I said it. A LOT! I said it before LB was born. I said it and I said other mean and hurtful things. Out of complete ignorance. I am ashamed to admit it but I am also woman enough to make a change. It took LB to make that change for me. I also know there is much more awareness around the word and the need for change.

Our language is an evolving language. There are many words that we no longer deem acceptable because of the uses they have taken on outside of the origin of the word.

Now, when I think of these words, I cringe. When I hear the word retard I get an empty feeling in the pit of my stomach and I want to cry. I want to wrap my baby girl in my arms and never leave the house. The mere thought of her hearing herself being called those words or even inferred as, simply enrages me.

Not too long ago, I had someone refer to her, second hand so my own ears didn't witness this, but I was told.. that they referred to myself as the one with a r-tar-ed daughter. My heart aches even writing it again and reliving that moment. It's one that I will never forget because that was the first, and I am SURE not the last, time that I heard her referred to as such.

I often see on facebook and other social media, many people that are my "Friends" dissing or putting people down by referencing short buses and LD classrooms. This hurts too. I just had an incident yesterday that said something about being tardy and referenced it as being called such not in the action of being late. I defriended this person but not before I left a comment with my feelings. I am sure there was backlash, but not worth my time. Or referencing fans of opposing teams as the less than - "tards of (insert team)."

I just hope there are a few of these people that would read my blog or posts and WANT to change. Not because of me, but because they are parents. And how do you think you would feel if your child were in a self contained class that others used as a put down to someone that wasn't. Or if your kid had to ride a smaller bus? What if it were your kid? What if your kid heard this about themself? What would that make you feel ike?

I don't understand hate. Never have. I know that using this word to me, is just like racism. It's a learned behavior and just like those actions, we can make this change. It's not that hard. Due onto others people. It's a simple concept.

I will not share a picture of my daughter in these posts becasue I do not want the Search engine lords to stick her face to this association. But I REALLY REALLY REALLY want you to think about her when you hear someone say this.

The excuse of, "I'm not talking about LB... I don't even think about her when I say it." Well pal, ya got one part right. Just because you aren't saying, LB the r-t-rd, you are still demeaning her character. She has a learning disability. She is clinically labeled as such. By inferring that someone else has a slowing of the brain to be inferior or less than you are and using a term that is CLINICLY meant for someone like LB you are demeaning her syndrome to the level of which you are putting the person you are attacking.

If its too complicated to understand the why, just think of something you don't want to be called and leave namecalling to children. Cotton-headed-ninny-muggins is much nicer anyway.

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Until next time...


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