Does terminology bother you?

[deleted account] ( 7 moms have responded )

After being a part of a few different groups out there I have learned that people with kids with special needs are really defensive about the terminology people use to mention those children. As we all know, people can be rude, insensitive but mostly are just ignorant. Growing up we used the now forbidden "R" word as a joke or would refer to a situation or idea as such. After having a child with Ds, I am amazed by how people feel about this word. I wouldn't like it if someone called my son a "R" with a mean intent. Like everything in our society I feel that people over analyze the use of this word and take it too offensively, most of the time anyway. I am just interested in your thoughts on this matter. Do you find it offensive to hear a teen say "Thats so retarded?" or when a kid calls another kid "such a retard?" Give me your thoughts on this matter.....


Jamie - posted on 09/05/2009




I do feel offended when someone uses that word, but it also depends on how they say it. I understand that it seems to be a common word used among a younger age group of people, and I think is usually being used without even thinking of the actual meaning of the word. I don't get offended to the point of telling a person to stop using the word because I know they are not intending it in a way to insult my child's special needs. I do however never use that term, so I believe that I'm at least rolemodeling a more positive approach to expressing myself. If I hear someone making a specific insult about someone's special needs though, I definitely make my opinion known, and do my best to put a stop to that.


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Kari - posted on 02/20/2010




It doesnt bother me really but when someone says she's special or different that bugs because ALL of my chidren are special to me. Now miracle that is def how I would refer to our chidren, I have said retarded myself, just like saying..oh thats so gay! I have a few a gay friends and its just a sign of the times different words mean different things now than say 20-30 years ago. You really have to put on your big girl panties and be a tough momma if you really think about it..WE .. have to be tough on a daily basis to raise our little miracles and if you do run into an ignorant person educate them a little on why and what the differences are between retarded and miracles of God.

Karen - posted on 02/15/2010




I do feel offended. Although I feel most people don't realise how offensive those words can be and don't really mean to hurt.

Brenda - posted on 02/08/2010




Most people mean well, but might not get the terminology. We are suppose to say "person with DS" as opposed to DS person. We are suppose to say mentally challenged or mentally disabled (hate that one- if you disable something, it ceases to function) as opposed to retarded. Retarded means slow. I take offense when people are purposely mean, not when they don't know the correct words to use. One lady called my daughter an angel and then asked me if she was a mongoloid. How can you get angry at that? I just said that yes, she had Downs Syndrome.

Tamara - posted on 01/21/2010




I DO feel offended and my reply is usually "I know retarded people smarter than you!" It is hurtful and unnecessary. I am not offended when a doctor or teacher points out that Jasmine is mentally retarder. That is a fact but I am offended by the word retard...that is just mean. To me it rates right there with the "N" word...and I am white but I just don't like rudeness or hurtful terminology.

Gina - posted on 11/03/2009




This is a tough one - because many times people don't mean to be offensive when they use the word - and most of the time I say nothing because I realize that is not the person's intent. There are times though, when I hear a joke in a movie or hear someone try to speak using a "mongoloid voice" and, the "mama bear" comes out in me and I want to defend my child when I hear it.

Kiffany - posted on 10/25/2009




I do feel offended if I hear it. I do have friends that may say it on occasion joking and i just ignore it, I know they mean no harm by it and they just don't think about my situation. If it was said to me to be hurtful then I would definately stand up and say something in defense. Sometimes people do not pick the best choice of words to use and I truly hate that word!

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