31 for 21: Day 17

The R word

Retarded.

This is a word that I used to throw around when I thought something was ridiculous, annoying, pointless, the list goes on and on.

We hear the R word used as an adjective and no one bats an eye.

Lately, hearing that word, makes me cringe.

For the sake of my son and others like him, who are living with Down syndrome or any other different learning ability, I ask you all, think about who is hurt when the R word is said.

Tonight, I write this post as a reminder to myself to speak up, I would never call my son, retarded, not even mentally retarded.

He is not. Royal is a smart, observant, funny, and feisty baby boy.

When I hear this word, my son does not come to mind.

He is anything but that word.

There is no one in my family who is that word.

During this month, as part of Down syndrome awareness, I ask you all to be aware of that word, and if you hear it and it makes you uncomfortable, ask whoever uses it to choose another word.

Let’s stand up for each other and give each other the respect we would want for ourselves, our children, and our family.

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