Skip to main content

R Word

On Veteran's Day, the boys had the day off so we went to the park. There were only a few other kids there with us. While running and climbing on the playground equipment, the other kids got into a name calling contest that involved only one word - "Retard."

I do remember using that word as a kid - I flung it around with words like stupid, idiot, dummy. By the time I was in college, I had more sophisticated shorter words to use, so the "R word" left my vocabulary.

At the park, I thought for a second about saying something to these kids. But what would I say? They saw me with Ben and I don't think they were connecting the use of their word with him. It was something they heard somewhere and were trying it out on each other. I chose not to say anything, but it did awake in me the need for more information about the debate going on about the words, Retard and Retarded.

Although I am aware of the  R-Word campaign, I was unsure of its focus. Is it about the use of the words as a slang derogatory insult? Or is it the use of the words as a label or diagnosis?

After looking over the site, it seems that the goal is to end using words like retard and retarded as a way to insult someone or something. The site's supporters are passionate about what they are trying to do. If they are able to raise awareness about mental retardation and get people to stop using the words in a derogatory way, then I support them.

The first time Logan and Sean use those words, because I know they will, I will talk to them about the meaning of the word and how people use it in a mean way. But I will have to do that for a lot of words, because unfortunately, there are so many ways to be mean to someone.


  1. Our kids will be the biggest advocates of this word, too. My oldest daughter gets very upset when she hears this word, which is a lot in Jr. High and High School. She tries to correct people and gets very upset when she hears it. I tell her she can't fight every battle and stop every person from saying it. Focus on her friends, and if they refuse to stop saying it or say it in spite of her, then move on. This is not a battle we will win over night. We may not be able to prevent everyone from saying this word, but we can choose to limit how it is used in our presence.


Post a Comment

Thank you for reading my post. I appreciate you taking the time to comment. If you wish to contact me directly, please let me know and I will email you.

Popular posts from this blog

Parenting an Adult Child with Disabilities

  "Parenting an Adult Child with Disabilities" is a series on eSpeciallyBen. As Ben approached 18, it was clear our role changed as parents. We needed to help Ben transition into adulthood. These stories are meant to assist other families who face, or will face, some of the same challenges. Talking About the Future Guest Post - Matt Wilson Legal Guardianship, Medicaid and SSI Researching Group Homes Questions to Ask at a Group Home Visit Referral Packet for Group Homes Getting Assistance from a Care Manager From Group Home Placement to Discharge Reaching for Independence

Impromptu Pet Therapy

  Ben met Doodle today. One of the staff at his day program brought him in. Ben loves dogs and these photos made my day. 

ABC's of ABA

A few weeks ago I attended a workshop presented by a behavior therapist. As it turned out, I went to a conference on the same topic over a year ago. I will describe what I have taken away from these methods in my own words - but please take a look at the links I have provided below. After I learned about this, life with children made a lot more sense to me. Not that this is earth shattering material, but it helped me to better understand the hows, whats and whys of behavior in children, and occasionally husbands. I am in no way an expert in this - just a parent who wants to share a behavior strategy that has worked in our home. I hope to inspire others to explore it further.  Any errors in information comes from me and cannot be blamed on the presenters. Also, you may have seen ABA - Applied Behavior Analysis - connected most often with Autism - please do not let this deter you if your child is not autistic. I use these methods with all my children, none of which are labeled au