Before my son was diagnosed with autism, I was an avid user of the R-word. When I thought something was particularly lame, “that’s retarded” was a phrase that easily tumbled out of my own mouth. I never thought about the fact that it might hurt someone’s feelings or deeply offend anyone. I didn’t really think about it at all.
But as soon as I learned that my son Brody had autism, I suddenly saw the word in a whole new light. I made it my business to give a stern lecture to anyone that I caught saying it.
One night after delivering the aforementioned lecture to my sister, she caught me off-guard by asking, “Why do you care if I use that word? It’s not like Brody’s retarded.” Well, I knew that. So why DID this word bother me so much?
read more at Autism and the “R-Word”: Special Needs Living | The Stir.
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