What do you REALLY mean?
I had a hallway encounter and shared it on my personal FB page, yet its well worth and deserving of a blog. So here it is:
“The things people say and step in so you don’t have to: 3 characters doctor, nurse, me
D: that’s retarded (speaking of a process or something)
M: don’t say retarded, there’s a different word you can use
D: okay, intellectually disabled
M: um, ok but that’s not any better for what you’re trying to explain
N: she has a son with disabilities and that’s offensive
D: I didn’t mean it like that…I usually offend someone some kind of way
M: I’m not offended. Just trying to help you out for future encounters…
Retarded isn’t (well it wasn’t supposed to be) a bad word YET the way people use it is what makes it bad, negative and derogatory. I have a child that is retarded = slow, behind his peers- intellectually and physically impaired and I’m okay with that because I don’t define him by the disabilities and what he can’t do. Words matter and we define success for ourselves!”
My wonderful and beautiful friend Helen reposted and added to it in an effort to help educate others. Here’s what she added:
#1 if you use the “R” word, read on. And stop immediately
#2 the fact that we need to teach doctors “compassion” in school in order to avoid saying these things is more than frustrating
#3 This is a gleaming example of why I <3 Naomi Williams and all she is as a parent and advocate for her child and others with disabilities.
#4 We’re riding in August to prove that his “disabilities” don’t limit the scope of the AWESOME Noah can achieve.
So what does one mean when they use the word retarded? If it’s not meant in a negative way how should one interpret it? Know this; we can choose our words, my child and others like him didn’t choose to be retarded.
It was a beautiful day and we went to Noah’s favorite spot which made EVERYTHING perfect in my world in that moment. *This is a previous video. I opted to leave my phone in the van and just enjoy Noah and the elements but his reaction was the same as what you see here.*
If you’d like to be a part and help Noah and Helen on their Great Colorado Bike Adventure spreading awareness of what inclusion looks like while raising funds for others via the Kyle Pease Foundation go here https://kyle-pease-foundation-inc.networkforgood.com/projects/50559-helen-gardner-s-fundraiser . Your donation is 100% tax deductible and very much appreciated!