Last week Alayna & I dealt with the R word face to face and I can honestly tell you that as a parent of a child with special needs it is NEVER ok to use the R word. It is hurtful.
Alayna & I walked into a doctor's office for a visit for me. I had only met this doctor one other time a week earlier but, in that meeting we discussed that I have daughter with down syndrome.
She happened to be 30 minutes late and apologized saying it was an emergency with one of her children. I immediately said, " I hope everything is ok" then the doctor said, "oh it was nothing really, actually it is just a retarded story"...and went on to explain how her daughter forgot to take something to school and she had to go and drop it off at the school for her.
Now there are millions of adjectives in the world. On this very day as I am standing there holding my sweet daughter she HAD to use this word?
I could have kept my mouth shut and walked away but (you know me better), I believe God specifically put me in this truly uncomfortable position to help me grow and to help me advocate for my daughter.
When she paused I immediately said, "Our family doesn't use that word and we would appreciate if you didn't either". She quickly said, "Oh, I would never use that word in reference to someone who IS intellectually challenged."
This second comment hit me like a ton of bricks. Here I was face to face with someone I didn't really know, with whom I hadn't built a rapport, who obviously is educated but, she really thought that is was ok to use this word if she wasn't referring to someone with special needs.
I explained that it is never ok to use this word. I explained how hurtful this word is and how easily people throw it around.
Her next words then were heartfelt, " I am so sorry for using that word, I should not have used it and I am deeply sorry."
I have no idea if this doctor will think twice about using the R word again or not. My prayer is that she not only never uses it again but that she also goes on to advocate that others not use it either.
Please help eliminate the use of the R word in everyday speech.