It’s ironic that I spend my days trying to help my children NOT lose words from their vocabulary and here I am asking you to lose the word “retard” from yours.

In 2011, why do I still hear people using the word “retard” to describe persons with special needs?
I personally find it offensive, ignorant and it speaks to the character of the person using it. When the word “retard” is used to describe a person with special needs, it’s degrading, dehumanizing and grossly inappropriate.
One of the most painful experiences in my life is hearing people refer to my beautiful children as “retards”. You wouldn’t believe how often it actually happens. It literally takes EVERYTHING in me not respond or even go on the offensive. Those of you with

Daddy and Emmett

special needs kids can imagine how I would LIKE to deal with these ignorant people. However, If I responded to them then my kids would assign meaning to that word. I don’t EVER want to have that conversation with my kids….EVER. I don’t EVER want to look any of my children in the eyes and have to explain what was meant by the word “retard”. PLEASE don’t make me have to do that. It would destroy me.

I have a long summer ahead of me filled with people using that word in reference to my children. Please show some respect and compassion. Don’t encourage these people by laughing at their jokes or comments. Show some backbone and stand up for what’s right. Some day you may find yourself in my shoes and your actions today can help define the world your child will be facing in the future.

My special and amazingly beautiful children that you insult and degrade are stronger than you and I. You see, they will forgive you for calling them that….I won’t.

I don’t mind if you refer to my kids as special or having Autism but honestly, you could just refer to them by the names they were given at birth. That’s how I refer to them and you should do the same.

 Please join my cause to end the use of the word “retard” when referring to persons with special needs, especially children.