What Love Can Do & A Word About “The ‘R’ Word”

What to see what love did?

Go read Nikki’s latest blog post at One Tiny Starfish! Exciting things have happened, are happening currently, and will continue to happen. Nikki just returned from a trip to Canada to have her visa renewed, and everything was successful. The visa should be good for the next six months.

On to my second point. Carrie, of the blog Life is Being Found, just published a beautifully-composed post here. This post addresses the application of the word ‘retard(ed)’ to people living with disabilities. The word is becoming obsolete, as it should. In this day and age, it’s an ugly word, and there is no place for it in modern society. It is unnecessary and only comes with a negative connotation. No one should have to live with others calling them the r word, whether or not they have special needs or disabilities. The proper term for impaired cognitive ability is now intellectual disability, so there is no need to have the r word in our vocabulary any longer, and especially not as a pejorative.

Please go read this post, Carrie expresses it so much more eloquently. None of Nikki or Carrie’s kids deserve to be called the ‘r word’. They may each have their own unique needs and challenges, but they are NOT retarded. Both of the posts above are full of children who are learning, changing, growing, and blossoming every day. They deserve to be treated just like everybody else.

In their culture, they are already born into the lowest caste in their society (‘untouchables’) because of their disabilities, since in Hinduism a child born with disabilities means you have done something wrong in your past life (more explanation of this can be read in Carrie’s post). But that view is being changed, because at SCH, they aren’t being hidden away any more. They attend mainstream schools when able (this is no small feat, either – it is a fight to get each child with visible disabilities accepted into schools, since there is little to no free school in India), live normal lives, and have many emotions.

Words can hurt just as much as blows. Carrie and Nikki’s kids are amazing, loving, caring, awesome, incredible, stunning, beautiful (inside and out), blessings, important, bright, interesting, smart, special, sweet, expressive, unique, loved, loving, supported, and so, so much more! But they are definitely not ‘retarded’.

Further resources:

Spread the Word to End the Word campaign

More Alike Than Different (Sponsored by the National Down Syndrome Congress) – I’ve written about MATD before.


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