A sweet friend of mine recently found out her little boy, Cooper, has Williams Syndrome. Williams Syndrome is a genetic condition that is characterized by medical problems, developmental delays, and learning disabilities. Because of this, these children are sometimes labeled or called, "retarded". While technically that is a correct "medical" term, is that really how most people use that word? It's normally a word that is used very inappropriately and can hurt the self esteem and feelings of millions of people. It's a word that is used way too flippantly these days. We all know that it is not the most politically correct way to address people with learning disabilities, but what about the fact that people use the word "retarded" to describe a lot of different things. I understand that most people aren't saying the word "retarded" to purposefully hurt anyone, but it's something we all need to be a lot more conscious about.
From a mom battling against the misuse of this word...
"That movie you saw? It was boring, dumb, or a waste of time...not retarded! The coffee maker isn't working? It's broken...not retarded! You made a wrong turn and got lost? You made a mistake...you are not retarded! My son? He is NOT boring, dumb, a waste of time, broken or a mistake...he is, medically speaking, retarded. He WILL be fighting this word his entire life because as long as people see him that way, they will think of him no differently then they see a dumb movie, broken coffee pot or a wrong turn. Be better then that and help him fight one less battle in life. Find a different word and stop using the word retarded, not JUST when you are around people with learning disabilities, but all the time."
For more information on the battle against the hurtful misuse of this word, please visit www.r-word.org. My friend, as well as millions of others will thank you!