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March 04, 2013 | North America: Illinois

The People Behind the Word

By Virginia Dorrell

Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games-Young Athletes Culminating Event

I'm sure that you've heard someone say "you're retarded, she's retarded, that's retarded" and you didn't even blink. Heck, you yourself may have said it at one point or another. Or in reaction to something, have said or heard said, "RETARD!". These may just seem like words in everyday speech, another way to say "stupid". Well it isn't JUST a word. It's a hurtful, hateful, derogatory word. Special needs kids have to struggle every day to do the things "typical" people do with ease. Often times they do it with the biggest brightest smile on their faces. They have a way of restoring your faith in humanity, a way of showing you that life is what you make it, and they choose to make it GREAT! My daughter is a Young Athlete. Every day she brings so much joy into this world. People can't help but look at her and smile. When I hear the R-Word used I challenge people to put a face to that word. Can they honestly look at her and use that word? Most can't. Spread the word to end the word!

About Virginia Dorrell: Parent to a Special Olympics Illinois Young Athlete. Proud Special Olympis Supporter since 2010.

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