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People use the R-word, retarded, carelessly or as an insult. Here are stories about ways we've dealt with it.
My brother Mitchell has Downs syndrome and is a super amazing person!
My son has Autism, Global Delay, and ADHD. But that is not who he is.
addy or lune
when I was in first to fourth grade, I was bullied a lot for having dyslexia.
My dad heard me, so for the next two hours, he was talking to me about people with intellectual disabilities.
I went to school in Cold Spring. There was another person who made fun of my disability.
I never was someone who openly said the r-word in order to shame or insult another human being. But I would occasionally laugh or join in with a joke.
When my Aunt Sid heard one of my brothers teasing me, she said I was selectively smart and most of the family started doing that too.
Growing up, people always joked and said the R word loosely, often referring to an action someone did.
I am on the Autism spectrum. While I am high-functioning and intelligent, that doesn't mean people always react positively when I tell them I have Autism.
I want people to be treated with respect. So what if you have a disability, you're still smart no matter what.
Hello, my name is Hayden Redmon. I'm a Special Olympics athlete and I just graduated to be a Special Olympics Athlete Ambassador.
Jason A. Plants
When I was in 6th and 7th grade, there was a girl named Mandy. She didn't have any friends, and every time I heard anything negative about her, I felt guilty.
Then one day I blew up, I had enough of letting them push me around and being told I would never amount to anything.
I can't compete in varsity sports in high school because my skill level is low but Special Olympics gave me the chance no one else would give me.
I don't like the word at all and don't want it said.
This story is about my uncle James Ray. James Ray was born with Down syndrome. The doctors advised my grandparents to have him institutionalized.
My brother has ADHD and ADD. It was a challenge for him to learn throughout his middle school and high school life.
I was a young mom in the 80's, working from home for scheduling donation pick ups for a company going by the name of NW Center for the Retarded.
Lee Ann Flener
My son was born with Down syndrome on Jan. 1, 2016. I have heard the r-word used several times in my life and haven't really thought much about it.
My son has autism and since he was born, the word "retard" wasn't allowed in our house - even as a childish joke of a word.
I was in high school when the use of the word was brought to my attention. It was a moment of embarrassment for me when I used it.
I have helped at my school for two years with kids with disabilities.
My son was born with epilepsy and had two seizures a day. He was in special schools, as he didn't t walk till he was 7.
My grandson, now 23, fills my heart every day, with smiles and love. I am grateful that I have been able to share in his life.
I have always used the r-word. I try not to but I do. I am going to stop because I have a little sister who has autism.
My brother is challenged, and I hate when people use the r-word. It makes me feel bad because he can't say what he feels.
My beautiful girl, the light of my life, nows deals with being called many awful things by her peers, including the r word. If they'd take the time to get to know her, they'd see that she is many things (smart, beautiful, caring, kind hearted, and so much more).
Kenneth.Giles By Kenneth Giles
My neighbor, her name is Madison. She is 13 and she has cerebral palsy from the neck down, so she cannot walk or stand up. Even though she can't walk, she's so much fun to hang out with. She can talk and laugh and she has a pet gerbil.
Not everyone is the same. Everyone has their own abilities where not all are the same. God didn't make things the same for a reason.
I have always hated the r word, as some of those with that "label" are some of the smartest people I know. They figure out quickly how to play life's games.
We really need to stop hating each other and start loving and embracing our differences.
Terri "Maria" Ridgway
My two daughters go to a special development school. They love their school. My only sadness is my son calls them the r-word all the time.
I want to say thank you to everyone that knows that people with obstacles in their lives are just the same as everyone else. And in fact in my eyes they're better.
My name is Sammi. I have many disabilities. I was in special ed classes in school. That meant dealing with people calling me the r word.
When I was a kid I used the r-word frequently even picking on kids that were different....that is until I met Tony.
When I was a child my best friend had Down syndrome, I didn't notice it but as I got older I started noticing how other people made him feel.
My husband has dyslexia. He had to repeat his first and second grades. He was looked down on for being 'stupid, retarded', etc.
I am now a 60 year old woman. But when I was a child, I heard that horrible word so often.
It's a term used to belittle and an oppressive term that inpacts on all people with a disability and seeing people as less than non-disabled people.
We have more than one special kid in our family and the r-word is my biggest pet peeve. People use it all the time, but nothing makes me angrier as when it is used to describe a child.
I have intellectual disability and it not fair to say those words. I dislike that word. Lots of people used to call me that.