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

PD: A girl stands against a white wall, wearing a traditional Indian sari that is hot pink, blue, & gold w/ paisley accents & sparkly glitter. Her hands are at her sides, wearing blue bangles.

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 and some other religions, 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 or public 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.

Donation opportunities include child sponsorship at any cost per month, from as low as $25/month. Sponsorship usually costs between $300 and $500 per child, depending on complexity of needs and city in which they live (Ongole or Hyderabad), among other factors.

You can sponsor any child who needs additional funding at SCH by using the resources found here. Use these resources to get involved in other ways, such as becoming an advocate or volunteering. You can also become a medical sponsor (ideal for large groups or organizations who wish to support SCH) and donate toward monthly emergency medical expenses; or become an educational sponsor and donate toward a specific on-site school. Learn about other ways to give charitably to SCH here, and check back often for additional opportunities. You can also send gifts via Amazon India, make a one-time, general donation, pray if that is your calling, or volunteer at home or in India yourself.

*A note about names: SCH uses online nicknames for the children in order to protect their identity, per Indian government guidelines which state that children in care may not have identifying photos of them on the internet, as well as no identifying information such as birth name, place of origin, etc.

Connect with SCH: Official Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

PD: the SCH logo – black text reads ‘sch’; red text below reads ‘sarah’s covenant homes’; heart-shaped flowers bloom from the name.

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