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I need your help

May 17, 2011

I hear and read the word retarded all the time as slang. I want to be able to politely say something to educate the person and I don’t know how. My first reaction (in my head) involves lots of harsh words that will probably do more harm than good in the grand scheme of things. How can I help others understand that when they say something/someone is “retarded” they are insulting my child?

Please know that when I ask this question I do actually want you to respond. If you unknowingly insulted someone how would you want them to help you understand?

7 Comments leave one →
  1. May 17, 2011 1:08 pm

    Could you say something along the lines of “Oh, I don’t think of him as retarded. He’s just unique. I love all the things that make him who he is, even if the world sees them as a disability!” (That’s how I tend to respond to people who feel sorry for my cousin with Down syndrome. She’s our angel!)

    • May 17, 2011 1:13 pm

      I just clarified my post. I’m talking about when I hear retarded used as slang. Fortunately I have never had anyone say anything harsh about H Money.

  2. May 17, 2011 9:59 pm

    How about a kind of jokey/exhausted, “Uuuggggghhhhhh…I hate that word. Don’t you think it is sad how often we use it in our everyday language but that we’re so careful not to use slang that insults other groups?” “Sorry…it’s my personal Mommy soapbox. I’m sure you understand.” (By the way, That Mama – I don’t think this is a “Mommy soapbox”…I totally agree with you.)

  3. May 18, 2011 12:09 am

    I admit I use the word. I try not to but I have used it all of my life. 😦 I have a special needs sister now who is 13 and I fear I’ll say it in front of her. I am getting much better at it…but it is HARD. I think you should just be straight and not passive aggressive. Just kindly say, “I know you didn’t mean anything by it, but I do find that word offensive.”

    Celebrating Family

  4. Tot permalink
    May 18, 2011 7:16 pm

    I’m going to think on this and get back to you, but want you to know how sorry I am that you even have to hear the word used in the first place.

  5. May 19, 2011 6:02 pm

    “I am offended by the way you just used that word. I find it demeaning to people with special needs.”
    Said in a gentle but firm tone.
    And I’ve actually said this to people before (especially my high school students). Seems to work 🙂
    Thanks for such a thoughtful post!

  6. May 20, 2011 3:56 pm

    As a person on the spectrum with 2 kids on the spectrum I work hard at not saying anything potentially offensive. If I do, I fully expect the other person to say something along the lines of “That was the wrong thing to say, and here’s why”

    When someone uses the R word around me, I usually go with a blinking stare and “Really? Is that the most appropriate word you could come up with?” or if it’s my same-age-group peers, “Um, I thought our 15 year reunion was coming up not our 15 th birthdays.” But sarcasm is how I deal with people & situations I’m not overly fond of, so obviously YMWV.

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