In 1987, at the age of 22, I delivered my third child who was born with Downs Syndrome. I was given outdated info and outdated books all on the expert subject on how to cope with raising a “retarded” child. The word tasted like poop in my mouth. As a family we decided not to use the “R” word. We raised our children not to say it, taught family…
Great take on the subject, we have to be able to talk about these things without being silenced or accused. Every misunderstanding is fixed with conversation. Thank you for bringing it up.
Language is changing every day, we need to know where our words come from, and that context changes everything. Some people playfully…
I admit to using this word occasionally. I know history well enough but it really has become just like idiot or moron (neither of which I was aware of in terms of their history). It’s sad, weird, and fascinating how our language is so swift to change and how we are so quick to forget.
Well, I learned a lot reading this article. Thank you. I had a brother who was “slow” and the term we used as mentally retarded. I know it’s fallen out of favor and as you pointed out, the actual term is accurate but so many use it incorrectly. Thanks for the history lesson and your insights.
I found a book titled “Mongoloid development” in an old trunk when I was eight. My mother had stored old guides there — research books on raising children with special needs. When my sister was born, the prevailing terms ranged from retarded to handicapped to disabled.
Exactly. Let’s affirm each person’s worth and humanity without denying the disadvantages of a disability. When we can do this it will safer for all of us because we will be able to own our imperfections as well as our strengths.