Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Retarded

I bet the title got your attention didn't it. To some people it's a bad word...just as bad as a four letter word. Not to be mentioned in their presence in any way shape or form. To the people on the other side of the fence it is a funny word. Said in jest because "I didn't mean it THAT way".

How do you mean it? When you say the dreaded "R" word? Do you mean that someone is beautiful, smart, amazing? No. You are saying it because you think something or someone is stupid, "slow", or...Heaven forbid...a mentally retarded individual. (Society at large now uses the term cognitively delayed). There is no "nice" way of saying the "R" word. It's rude, offensive and shows a lack of respect for people who are a part of this world. Who live this life every single day. I am not trying to be the word police. You are more than welcome to use the word and hurt people's feelings. Go for it. But why use it when there are so many other words that you can use? So many other adjectives to clearly state what you REALLY are trying to say.

I am no saint and I've never claimed to be. I was so completely self absorbed before I had Violet. I never took in to consideration how my words could possibly hurt another individual. I used terms back then that honestly make me sick to my stomach to even think about now. You know I even have cards addressed to me as  "window licker".  I swear the word retarded, tard or retard probably left my lips 20 times a day. I guess I just never stopped to think about what I was actually saying. Ignorance is bliss right? Wrong.

I look back now ashamed of the person I was... But proud of the person my daughter has helped me become. Since the day I found out that Violet has Down syndrome, August 18, 2010, I have not used the word in any form. It makes my skin crawl to hear it come from people's mouths the same way I used to use it. I WISH someone had told me it was hateful. I WISH someone had told me I was being disrespectful. I WISH I had known how bad I may have hurt people's feelings. I WISH I could personally apologize to each and every person that was offended by my hateful language. Because now, I know. I know how much it hurts. I've been the mom crying on the next aisle in the grocery store because people are making fun of those with intellectual disabilities. I have had my daughter called a retard. I have had people whisper and stare at her, laugh and call names. And it hurts. It hurts down to your bones. And unless you have ever been in that situation, you can't even begin to understand HOW bad it truly does hurt.

So, if you have been educated about the word, why continue to use it? If the word means nothing to you, it's "just a word" why use it? The word evidently means so much to an entire community of people. Of families, of children. To us, the word is acid on our skin. Out of respect for people that just want to live their lives in peace, dont use it. Find a different adjective.

I'm not saying that people that use the word are evil or bad people. Just misinformed or maybe they were like me...they just never stopped to really think of how it would hurt people.

Here is a link to one of my favorite articles. I hope you will read it and take something from it. The new "R" word needs to be Respect.

The People Who R

also, another wonderful organization that is fighting to make a difference

Spread the Word to End the Word


When you use the R word, you are insulting a large population of people with intellectual disabilities.  Make a difference and take the pledge. 


93 comments:

  1. I <3 you. You are brilliant! That is all.

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  2. Wow..Amber...just wow...did you think when you found out your diagnosis on V, you would be writing this? Thank you for writing a piece with an introspective heart

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  3. Thank everyone. There are a lot of things that I never thought I would be doing as Violet's mother. Unfortunately when I found out her diagnosis....I knew this would be one of the main issues we would have to deal with. I have been witness to a big change in heart in a lot of people, so the message IS being spread. Unfortunately some just aren't as easily swayed.

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  4. I just hate it when I politely educate friends and they still don't stop. It tells me they aren't really friends. Then there are those people that, once educated, get pissed off and tell me to go "f" myself. That just adds insult to injury. Do you think if you have been told before Violet you would have stopped using it? I'm not sure about myself before my son's birth. I think I would have stopped but can't be sure.

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  5. *had* been told

    Also, Violet is absolutely precious!!

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  6. honestly, I would have stopped in a heart beat. No doubt about it. I grew up with several individuals with special needs. You would think I would have known better. But I never stopped to think about it and no one ever stopped to tell me.

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  7. BEAUTIFUL princess! I so agree with all you said!

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  8. I was told my daughter was going to be downs at 16 weeks. I only did blood test and they all came back that she was. I did not find out until the day we had her that she was healthy. After I was done having kids I got into home Heath care to give back. A child or adult with a disability it a great gift from god. Hold your beautiful baby close and let her know she is very loved. Hope everything goes well.

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    1. Dana,
      I can tell that you are a kind and sensitive person from your post, so even though I don't know you I want to help you learn one more way you can be respectful to people with disabilities. Please don't call the person the disability. My child is not downs, he is first a child and he happens to have ds. If you were told your child was going to be downs, I am sorry. You should have been told that your precious daughter would have down syndrome because that would only have been a small part of her identity. We don't refer to people with high blood pressure by their diagnosis first, they are people first as are all people with disabilities. I used to think that was simple pc crap, but recently read John 9, the account of the man who was born blind. When Jesus and his disciples refer to him, they use people first language. When the neighbors and Pharisees refer to him, they simply see him as the blind beggar. Its subtle but it makes a difference. Thanks.

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    2. Well stated, "GodsDesign". And, thank you for referencing John 9. I hadn't made that connection; but yes, that is the best example/model that we should all strive to imitate.

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  9. That word hurts me so so much... I carnt find the correct words to react to it. My son is the most wonderful little boy and i love him with all my heart and his smile...... his smile makes you melt. Your daughter is adorable and such a blessing .... your a wonderful mother..... treasure every day .x

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  10. Beautifully SAID!! May God be with you always!

    "You have a beautiful daughter!"

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  11. Violet is beautiful! I agree, before my sweet DS daughter Elise, I probably used the "R" word without realizing it's full punch. Now I try to watch what I say & how I say it, and I'm trying to teach that same thing to my two other girls. Words can hurt.

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  12. I have tried so many times to educate those in my family who use that word...and to no avail...my oldest nephew is so hateful and careless...he told me once that he is a creature of habit and doesn't intend to change..that he is "a heartless bastard". They don't get how disrespectful and hurtful it truly is..You have my admiration. Thank you.

    Also I want to add, that Violet is gorgeous.

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  13. You have an amazing way with words & expressing yourself. V must have inherited being incredible from her mommy, bc she is such an inspiration. She not only stopped you from using the R word so fluently, but, surely, she has caused the realization in SO many other people!!!!! Thank you, again, or sharing her with us!!!

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  14. Thank you for writing this. My parens never let us use this word at home growing up because it is not a nice word. I am forty nine so my MOM knew something and I am glad she did not let us use it. Thank you again. And my son Charlie Thaks all who try to educate.

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  15. What a beautiful and courageous story. Your baby is beautiful and she has a wonderful mother who will teach her the real and important lessons about life. Anyone who would make fun of your baby is to be pitied for their ignorance. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  16. violeta es una bella flor que vino a florecer tu vida, es hermosa!!!

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  17. I love people with special needs, and I want my children to love them too. So I learned a way to teach them about children with special needs.

    I tell them that they are angel children. And that God sent them to earth just like you and me. They may look different but they are angels.

    You are right, the world needs to know how to treat all people respectfully, thank you for your courage to step out and tell the world how to do it. Good Luck.

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  18. My little boy is down syndrome, all I have to say it perfectly is AMEN! You put perfectly. Thank you!

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  19. LOL! Sorry my comment made no sense! I am typing on my phone! ...read between the lines!;)

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  20. I am a mother of a special needs daughter too. Your post is awesome. In my opinion the Lord sends his choicest spirits to earth in bodies that don't work properly. They deserve our love, respect and admiration. Thank you for speaking up for our angel children.

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  21. I am so glad that more and more people are realizing how hurtful the "R" word is. To me, it is worse than any swear word. I worked with people with disabilities for many years and now have a son with autism and I cannot tell you how many ignorant people I have come across who use that word without thinking. Thank you for writing this to make people aware. I think the more people are aware, the less they will do it. Well, I hope so....

    PS-Your daughter is so so adorable.

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  22. It is sad to see how you judge others. I wonder how many friends you let walk out of your life over this. You condemn others, yet you judge just the same. I am sure you have had people in your life that thought your daughter was beautiful, wonderful, perfect, but nonetheless lost friendship over a word. What a shame. At the end of the day, everyone makes mistakes. It is how we react to those mistakes that judge our character.

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  23. IF they chose to walk out of my life that was their choice...not mine...and yes I have lost friends that I miss dearly. If people cannot or will not accept the fact that I am trying to protect my child then they do not understand the situation at all.

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  24. Hey anonymous, would you feel the same if it was the "n" word? I bet not. Why is it okay to ask people not to use that word because it is offensive, but not the "r" word? Like Amber said, if they chose to walk out of her life because they can't stop saying a word, then it is their loss...... and it's a big one. ~ DeeDee

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  25. it is one thing to slip and say something, but it is different when you have been told it hurts, that someone is protecting her child from being hurt. Protecting my child from people who "slip" and say such a word is something I will do as well...IT IS HUGE...If a person choses to hurt someone after they have asked them not to do such...they were never friends to begin with...they were fair weather friends...as long as things go their way all is well...but if one thing changes, they chose not to change with it. It is a slap in the face every time it is spoken...as a mother I am offended that you are remotly trying to defend such a thing...may God forgive you...I am not God....

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  26. My youngest daughter came home from school one day (I think she was 8) and shared that her teacher used a 'rude' word. I said that she could tell me the word once but only once. The word was 'stupid', I had to explain that while that was a banned word in our house? Other people used it without thinking.
    Do you think that the 'R' word was EVER used by my children? NO of course not because I taught them to respect other people.

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    1. My oldest daughter (Alyson) will be 40 this month, but in truth she is about 14 years... we have lived with the comments 'gee why didn't you put her in a home', or what did you do that she is 'r', she is not DS but had the cord around her neck during labour...
      thank you for doing well with your children... I have cried, screamed 'why me?' and so many other things over the years... she also was born deaf (has had 15 surgeries) and now hears about 50%... but through it all she is the most loving, caring child/woman that anyone could wish for...
      Sheri

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  27. And that is exactly what this is all about Alyson...respect :)

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  28. You would think after 16yrs of having a son with Down Syndrome nothing would surprise me but omg that post was something else and what a bloody coward didnt even have the balls to use there real name. Amber you are an awesome person and i for one will defend you and V always xxx

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  29. Great job Amber. When someone uses the R word naively because they do not realize the impact it has on others you are offered a teachable moment. When someone willfully and intentionallly uses the R word knowing the impact it has on others it is time to drop them and not look back. xoxo to your beauty. She is lucky to have an outspoken and determined mother.
    Ann Marie

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  30. It's sad that a mother tries to protect her child from ignorance and gets belittled for it. Maybe that's what's wrong with society today. Not enough pissed off moms standing up for what they believe.

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  31. Amber - My DD is now 28 and works full time as a Deputy Manager at a Pre-School, while attending college to become a teacher.
    She is teaching the children she looks after the respect she was taught by the people around her. You need to be very careful regarding the people you allow to interact with your precious babe.

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  32. I completely agree Alyson. Poisonous people are not allowed in her life. Only people who support and encourage her are allowed.

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  33. from this post alone it seems you have the right support system in your life...one less here or there that hurt you...good riddence! oh and Tink...you rock too! But NOTHING surprizes me anymore...people are so cruel...and for no other reason but to be such...love ya ladies!

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  34. This is so precious, I have friends who have down syndrome and I see them getting picked on all the time, its not right, the "R" word may just be a word but it definatly hurts. Your little girl is adorbale. Thank you for sharing.

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  35. Violet is beautiful!!

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  36. Thank you! It's almost as if you took the words right out of my own mouth. God Bless you & your BEAUTIFUL family!

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  37. I found out my daughter was going to be born with Down Syndrome five days before you did on 8/13/2010. It is a day that changed my life and that of my family forever and I am so thankful for it! Your daughter is beautiful!

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  38. I also have a DS flower, her name is Lily. I also said the word a lot and now see it so differently. I really like your blog because it is informative without being preachy or PC. I will be sharing it on Facebook. Often I find great pictures of kids with Down Syndrome and I save them on my computer. I love to see what I call "Visions of true beauty" and the picture of your daughter in the pink coat is one of them. She is so beautiful! We are such lucky Mommies!

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  39. I also have a DS flower, her name is Lily. I also said the word a lot and now see it so differently. I really like your blog because it is informative without being preachy or PC. I will be sharing it on Facebook. Often I find great pictures of kids with Down Syndrome and I save them on my computer. I love to see what I call "Visions of true beauty" and the picture of your daughter in the pink coat is one of them. She is so beautiful! We are such lucky Mommies!

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  40. From the bottom of mine and my son's heart we thank you for approaching this subject in a way that I can share this with friends and family and get the word out that this isn't just a word ....it's an insult.

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  41. WONDERFUL! I've got a lil flower named TJ, 3 1/2 years old and growing so quickly! His baby brother loves him so much and seeing them hug eachother (when they're not fighting! lol) is just so beautiful!

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  42. retard is used by americans as a descriptive word for a person with a mental disability a lot of books have the word used in them for theory when studying special needs.

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  43. Anonymous, the word USED to be used as a medical description. It has since been changed in to a derogatory term. No one had an issue with it until then. The same as the term "gay". It is now used to describe things that are lame, ugly and stupid. Just because the word has one definition doesn't mean that it isn't used in several other ways. I know a lot of books that use a lot of terms toward people that shouldn't be used. Just because it "used" to be ok once upon a time does not mean it is still ok.

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  44. This is a wonderful and powerful post, Amber, and your comment, "Just because it "used" to be ok once upon a time does not mean it is still ok." is spot-on.

    The R word as a pejorative seems to be a phenomenon that gained steam in the last 15 or 20 years. I don't recall hearing it in my own childhood (50s and 60s) or my kids (80s).

    The photographs of your daughter are also lovely. I am especially taken with the "I have sunglasses and attitude" pic. She is clearly a girl who knows her own mind.

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  45. What a beauty. I can't bear to hear that word. It's so painful on so many levels.

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  46. What a beauty. I can't bear to hear that word. It's so painful on so many levels.

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  47. Yes, it once was a perfectly acceptable scientific term, used as part of a spectrum of language to describe one of several varying levels of cognitive impairment. So were many other terms acceptable, until people started to use them in a similarly pejorative and insulting manner. These and subsequent euphemisms have fallen into negative use at the hands of those who feel it necessary to belittle others in order to puff up their own fragile egos. Even "special needs" is headed that way now, with "aren't you just so SPECIAL?".

    The bottom line is that we all need to speak and treat each other with respect, from the smallest and most vulnerable member of our society to the strongest. When you stand against the use of this kind of language in this manner, you are standing for respect. Shame on those cowards who find their jokes and their sense of ego at the expense of those who can't defend themselves! Kudos to you, Amber, for writing this blog entry. Thank you.

    I would also ask (in this vein) that we not address individuals who happen to have disAbilities as "my downs kid" or "my child IS downs" (and feel free to substitute any other disAbility in place of DS in those sentences). DS or ADHD or autism or any other human condition is just ONE small part of that child's life.

    When we put that label in front of their name, we are giving the message that it is the sum total of their life. They are children FIRST. No more than one would say "my pimpled boy" or "my clumsy girl", we know our kids have likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, and various traits of personality that are parts of the whole being. Even a child who has DS has their own personality and life as a child.

    We do them a disservice when we as parents allow our own intense focus on helping to meet their needs when we lose sight of the whole child and only begin to see the disAbility. Your child is NOT DS, your child happens to have DS and that is a huge distinction.

    Amber, I can see that you "get this", but many of those who have commented here have lost sight of the bigger picture. Our children want to be treated as much like other children as possible, yet when we publicly use words that single them out as being something other than a child first and foremost, we've already segregated them from their peers with our words.

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  48. Cindy, thank you for writing about the importance of people first language! Would you please email me at thepickygal@yahoo.com I would love for you to be a guest writer for my blog on this subject!

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  49. Well said. I used the word myself, until my son was diagnosed with Autism. It makes me sick when I hear that word.

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  50. Amber...most wonderfully said....my friend, Cindy, turned me on to your blog...my heart is with our special needs children, having been a classroom teacher of DS children early in my career in education. I am now retired from being an elem school counselor and a special ed administrator in a VERY large urban school district. I have always considered myself blessed to have had the joy of working with some of these little ones with special needs..Violet is beyond precious!!! and SHE is blessed to have you as her Mommy!!!
    Excellent idea to have Cindy as a guest writer...her experiences, thoughtfulness and knowledge could be of help to many.
    May you and Violet have a rich and joy filled New Year!!!

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  51. sorry that my above(or below)comment was posted as anonymous...when I tired to publish it I really was guessing at how to do it..Cindy will laugh!! blessings from Patti

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  52. Another Cindy friend who was directed to this site by her. My daughter has handled the "R" word more than once by taking a swing and decking the brat who used it with her. We refered to this as "self-advocating". Maybe not the best approach for every occasion but sure got attention. BTW, one incident was at a Girl Scout camp where she was the only GS with a disability. The camp sent the OTHER girl home. Good for them.

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  53. Beautiful written... will spread the word.... now on a selfish note. Would love the pattern for the beautiful crochet hat so I can make one for another SPECIAL!!! little girl I know.

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  54. Beautiful post!! I agree with you that people have to understand the power of their words .. the PEN (and voice) is more powerful than the sword ...

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  55. excellent post and some truly excellent comments. it makes me cringe to hear comedians and everyday folks use the "r" word under the mask of "i was just kidding" "free speech". frankly i think it's lazy and unimaginative, ontop of being offensive. challenge the offender with being more creative than a middle school child (and frankly that's offensive to properly raised and properly behaved middle school children!) i have found i cannot enjoyed comedians as i once did because i watch in a unfamiliar state of stress, not knowing if their act if going to go down that road . . .

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  56. Thank you for your post. It's amazing how you realize how important being nice is when you have a child with special needs. I wish we could transfer that need for acceptance and love to others:) your daughter is beautiful:)

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  57. Violet is beautiful...I teach special needs 3-5 year olds in a fully inclusive (50-50) preschool at Easter Seals and am so blessed to work with kids of all abilities. I learned early on that they all have special needs and are so much more alike than different. They all play together and couldn't care any less about the differences we all have.

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  58. A rude and disrespectful middle school girl was using the "R" word in a derrogatory manner as I sat in the bleachers not far from her and her immature friends. Finally, I stopped thinking how offended I was and, leaned over and asked if she would please consider using another word because "retard" was offensive to me and perhaps others. All this did was fuel her ignorance to use the word more often. Finally, I shed my adult sensibilities and lowered myself to her 8th grade mentality - I don't recall, all these years later, what I said, but she decided to share my comment with her mother who was sitting nearby. And therein was the problem. This young girl was a product of an ignorant, rude and horrid mother. Hopefully blogs such as yours will help others to value the gifts that special needs children give to all of us - beginning with unconditional love, pure joy in everyday's beauty and untold opportunity to demonstrate acceptance and embrace diversity.

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  59. Oh, and you can find the hat pattern on Etsy and on facebook. Her store on facebook is Sew Much Love. It should be called the Violet owl pattern or something like that. It's named after my baby girl :)

    Here is a link to her shop...
    http://www.facebook.com/SewMuchLovePatterns

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  60. I agree wholeheartedly with your post...even if it is not meant in a hurtful way, it still hurts. I have a handsome little man with Down Syndrome. He has truly opened our eyes to the best and worst of this world. I too would say that I was vain and inconsiderate of others feelings. But when you are put in certain circumstances, it changes who you are and how you see the world. I wish that others could see life thru our eyes. I think it would change a lot of minds and ideas.
    I used the "r" but now it just makes my skin curl. One of my husbands aunts used this word just the other day (not in a hurtful manner) and I just felt myself cringe. If a word can make someone cringe, why not stop using it?

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  61. Oh wow. You said it perfectly!!!

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  62. Your daughter is adorable! She is a true gift to what is wonderful and pure, she will teach you and those who take the time to get to know her how to truly love and see the world as beautiful, even when the rest of us cannot. Please take this to heart! I have worked with many "Special needs" children, and those with Down syndrome are my favorite to work with! They all seem to know how to make others feel beautiful inside and out! Thank you for sharing with the world your amazing little Violet:)

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  63. Wow!!! This is powerful and well said :)

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  64. My little sister has Downs Syndrome and is the sweetest most amazing person in my life! When I have kids, I don't fear having a baby that isn't like everyone else. Why would we all want to be like everyone else? Downs Syndrome is not wrong. It's life changing and can make life interesting but it is not a bad thing. Sometimes it's a blessing in disguise and we should love everyone as they are. Thank you for writing this article. I cried but because it is so true and those of us who have changed understand exactly what you're saying. I hope you and Violet have a very happy New Year <3

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  65. Since working with you at the Buddy Walk this year, I gained a new perspective on children with DS. I really enjoyed playing with many of the kids and also seeing how encouraging and loving the people around the children were. I must admit that I have been guilty of using the R word in joking, and after reading this, I'm not going to use it anymore. Like you said, I've used it without thinking, and this really made me think about it. It's just not acceptable! Also, I really love the pictures of your daughter - she is beautiful!

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  66. Wow, well said. And your pics...beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. The R word for your angel is Radiant!

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  67. I have CP (albeit mild). I have been called the R word. It hurts so bad that sometimes I "disassociate" I retreat into my head.....while I am still fully functional I just "go away". I am an intelligent college graduate with honors (in special ed). I have 3 beautiful children and a husband. You would not believe how ignorant people are. I still cry.....get followed around stores get hateful words said. Its sad. That post was amazing.

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  68. Beautifully said! We truly don't think before we open our mouths and hurtful words come out and there is no takeing them back.
    Violet is a beautiful girl and her pictures are amazing, love them.
    I hope you never hear that word again but mostly I hope Violet never has to hear that word.

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  69. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for posting this page. It means a great deal.

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  70. I spend time with one of my best friends each week who has Down Syndrome and I could not agree with you more, the "R" word makes me sick. I have told everyone I know to STOP using it. You inspire us all!

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  71. Unfortunately there are many words used today that are regarded as offensive. R is only one of these. What I think is missing in our world is RESPECT of one another. Words are used aimlessly, without thought and usually not intended to target anyone-just thoughtless.

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  72. Words do not hurt people. The context of how words are used is what hurts people. If simply hearing a word, regardless of how it is being used offends you, you have bigger problems. If I were to say that my internet connection is retarded. That should not offend you, as I have appropriately used the word. It simply means to slow down or delay. If the word was used in a manner to belittle someone, then it is being used in a derogatory manner which you would be perfectly in the right to be offended. Your message should not be to stop using words as that is a bad message. Your message should be to use words appropriately, and to respect other people. Language can not exist without negative connotative words, as the world and life are not 100% positive, so we need negative words to use.

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    1. You're an effing idiot! Apparently you have never met a person that has been hurt,disrespect,alienated,offended, etc.
      There are so many term/words out there that can be boxed In the way you freely use the R word. Your statement proves your ignorance. I can name places,and "appropriately used" terminology,and you tell me if that hate speak is okay. Explain why its okay to casually use hate spesk about people with cognitive delays,but not about people that can "fight back".
      I think I used idiot appropriately.
      Again you're a hate monger.

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    2. Unfortunately, it's because of people like you that many children with disabilities don't feel like they belong. It's not just a word. Until you see the pain on a child's face after hearing that word, you really have no clue what you're talking about. I'm not sure if you are just pitifully seeking attention, but honestly I feel sorry for you. Especially when hurting a child, one with special needs to boot, makes you feel superior or better about yourself. I hope you get the chance to meet one of these beautiful and influencial people because until then you really have no clue. Thank you for voicing your opinion because it just goes to show that the world and the society we live in are not 100% accepting of these children. I am proud to say that even though I am only 15 I will never be a person like you, as I was blessed with a sister with Down Syndrome. Thank you for this post Amber and I apologize for this persons negligence to both you and Violet. Take care <3

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  73. Anonymous,

    Until you are the mother or the father of MY daughter, which thankfully will never happen, do not tell me what I should and should not feel or what I can and cannot feel. You do not walk in my shoes so do not even pretend to understand the situation. Use the word as I said. Go for it. But there are hundreds of thousands that feel the exact same as I do and you will NOT change our mind just as I will not change your mind. So what is the point in you posting on this blog? Were you looking for an argument? To stir the pot? If you want to post something in opposition go make a blog post. Because you will not reach anyone on this one and it was a complete waste of time. And my message is placed exactly where it needs to be. Sorry that you just don't get it.

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  74. It's funny how a person can hide behind their electronic window and preach such crap. Anonymous, given the chance to be face to face with the parent of a DS child or a DS person themselves I'm sure you would have a different view. I was once uneducated and then I met Amber. I now feel that the use of the R word in ANY form is disrespectful. It's no worse than using the N word to an African American. As a society we have evolved and are more educated, therefore language changes. I truly hope you have the opportunity at some point in your life to see how truly amazing someone with a disability of any kind is. I am a better, more well rounded person having met Amber and Violet. Amber, thank you for sharing your story and daily struggles with us. You are a true testimony of how society SHOULD be! <3 u!

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  75. Amen to the previous TWO responses. Intriguing that this person posts as Anonymous. There are MANY words that are highly offensive, even when used in "correct context". Would you walk around using the "n" word? After all, it means ignorant? HECK no! Even typing "n" word wrenches MY gut, & I am Caucassion! As V's (AMAZING) mother said, until you have been in her shoes.. How dare you tell her how a word should make her feel... OR judge her for her feelings! Oh, & as for needing negative words to use... TRUST me, fool, there are a plethera of those in existance that don't target people with characteristics they were born with.

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  76. Let me add... I will not argue, & will not respond to anything else said by this person. Amber's blog should not be tarnished by any ongoing feud.

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  77. Anonymous, rarely does anyone use the word "retarded" to mean slow down or delay anymore.

    From dictionary.com:

    re·tard·ed
       [ri-tahr-did] Show IPA
    adjective
    1.
    characterized by retardation: a retarded child.
    noun
    2.
    ( used with a plural verb ) mentally retarded persons collectively (usually preceded by the ): new schools for the retarded.

    So, when you use the word, even towards a "thing," you are giving it an adjective that refers to those with mental delays. I'm sorry you do that. But, understand that no matter to what you're referring, if you say the word in front of a child who is differently-abled, YOU are responsible for those hurt feelings, and that must suck, if you think about it, that you would CHOOSE to cause hurt feelings when another word would so easily suffice.

    Sorry, good try, but no go.

    Amber, we love you and V so much!

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  78. Rachel, best response I have read to date! Love you all too!

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  79. Violet is so lucky to have you as her Mom! And she is beautiful!

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  80. That was an educational post, thoughtfully written. I hope people take it as such and realize you are helping them to be better people by thinking carefully. Bravo! (MelJ)

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  81. You hit the nail on the head. I was the same way until I had my son on October 6,2011 and he also has downs syndrome. I wouldnt change my life for anything now he makes me a stronger person everyday.

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  82. She is absolutely beautiful and what a lovely little smile. Big squishy hugs for you and Violet. :)

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