To those who use the word "Retarded", perhaps you don't understand the significance of your choice of words, perhaps you truly don't mean to hurt someone's feelings because you are just using an "acceptable" termed word in replace of stupid, ignorant, dumb, etc... Let me define the word “retarded” for you: (adj.) slow or limited in intellectual or emotional development or academic progress. Now just because you forgot your homework, lost your keys, tripped, ran into something, or miscounted does not qualify you as “retarded”. You may not grasp the impact of your words, perhaps you utter this word as checking out in the store and do not realize that the clerk or person standing behind you has a child/sibling with a disability, and you have just insulted them. These are people who cannot defend themselves against your hurtful choice of words. My son has more persistence and determination to figure out something than you do in your little pinky, please do not categorize him, or others with a disability, in your ill-mannered choice of words. I can assure you that you do not fully comprehend the term “retarded” because if you did you would not use it. You could be making fun of people with a disability (or without) by using this term and one day you end up in an accident which places you right with those type of people you were just demeaning, now how do you feel? Or perhaps one day you have children and you are blessed with a beautiful child of God who is disabled. Would you want someone to use this word about your child who could not defend themselves? I think not. So next time you decide you want to use the word “retarded”, think about your freedoms to be able to think, speak, and act as you wish and CHOOSE a word more defining to your situation rather than demeaning a group of incredible people who CHOOSE to be fighters and persevere through your ignorance.
If you would like to support those with disabilities and fight for their inclusion and elimination of the R-word, I encourage you to visit www.r-word.org and sign their pledge. I always tell my students at the beginning of the year how I feel about this word, and as far as I am concerned it is just as bad as any other cuss word out there.