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In reference to the question about the term "retarded."

Ladies I would like to say that I absolutely did not want to offend anyone. In public or not kids will notice things that are different about behavior, looks, even old men who are missing fingers, they notice, and they ask. I really appreciated the anwers, and realize that the word "retarded" is overused to joke, and therefore not acceptable in any circumstance. To clarify, I have never allowed my children to say "retarded" jokingly, and have explained when I heard my own kids or their friends, cousins, etc. say it that it may offend someone. I explained the meaning of the actual word, and explained that even used in that sense that it would probably be offensive. That was how I dealt with the word before I read the other question about it. So, sorry if my question was offensive, because the whole point was to find out what can be said that is OK. I most certainly hate drama, and do not want it on here.


Asked by Tiffa-Knee at 9:42 AM on Feb. 22, 2009 in General Parenting

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Answers (10)
  • I work in a developmental center (an institution) where developmentally disabled women live and let me tell you that word is a no no. I help run the self-advocacy group there and that word pisses my clients off. They feel it's like using the N word. They really do not like the word and find it very offensive even when using it as a diagnosis. They have come a long way though. They medical term used to be imbecile, idiot and moron and those words have been done away with. They are now trying to do away with this word too. Of course I say it. I don't mean to and I don't use it at work. I am trying to stop because I know it's hurtful. I also know many wonderful and beautiful "retarded" people so maybe acting retarded isnt such a bad thing.

    Answer by GraciesMommy25 at 5:36 PM on Feb. 22, 2009

  • You sound very level headed and I appreciate that. I think we all use words the wrong way from time to time, and that any form of conversation is good because it leads to learning. I didn't see the other stuff, but I did answer one ? about this topic. We all live and learn.  As for drama on here--it is a a given, even if a person does not mean to start it, there is always something somewhere. 


    Answer by Teachermom01 at 10:02 AM on Feb. 22, 2009

  • Very good of you to try and explain the use of the word to others. There are quiet a few words we use and hear that are offensive when used in certain ways. When I was younger the word 'retarded' was used to both offend and describe someones mental disability. Not the case anymore.
    I actually looked up the word on my pc dictionary:
    re·tard·ed [ri trdÉ™d] adj
    1. underdeveloped: not fully developed the retarded growth of the plant
    2. mentally challenged: an offensive term meaning intellectually or emotionally challenged


    Answer by saltycoqui at 10:58 AM on Feb. 22, 2009

  • Frankly I think a lot of people are just to damn sensitive. . . and yes I am part of a "minority" group so I do get a say. In no other country (yes, I have lived in several) have I found people that are just so morally superior and easily offended or put-off by just about everything. In most countries I've lived in if a black man was walking down the street and a stranger was trying to get his attention he'd hollar "Hey! Black Dude!", in the US, that, for some reason, would be considered an insult and the stranger considered a racist! Now I don't believe in being unkind or unfeeling towards people with disabilities, but there comes a point when people just need to grow a thicker skin

    Answer by Panditacjp at 11:13 AM on Feb. 22, 2009

  • was the question deleted?
    i answered it last night.

    Answer by heatherama at 11:34 AM on Feb. 22, 2009

  • I never saw the original post but good for you. I even call my in-laws out on the word "retarded" and tell them I would appreciate them not saying it in front of my son or in my house. Although it is the medically accepted term, it has been so bent out of shape that it is now considered politically incorrect. Right now the correct term is "Developmentally Disabled"
    Another important point (after working with non profits for this cause) is to describe the person as a person who has a developmental disability or is developmentally disabled, rather than a developmentally disabled person. (In other words, they are a person first and the disability comes second.) It was all part of our training.....
    Hope that helps, thanks for actually looking in to that because it is so important to teach our children how to be respectful but not afraid to learn about other ideas.

    Answer by jenellemarie at 11:57 AM on Feb. 22, 2009

  • Oh bah. I say things are retarded all the time, I'm not trying to refer to disabled people. I think it's offensive if you're calling someone who is disabled a retard. But if my cat is rolling around being silly, and I say "Monty you are retarded" I don't think I should be shunned. People are so sensitive these days!

    Answer by BambiF at 11:58 AM on Feb. 22, 2009

  • Yes, I deleted my other question because evidently, people were offended by it and assumed that I allow my children to use the term in jest. I wrote this one to clarify the reason for the question in the first place and thank people for their helpful answers. I did not post either of them "Anon," so the last thing I want is drama on here or to offend people unintentionally.

    Answer by Tiffa-Knee at 12:39 PM on Feb. 22, 2009

  • I wasn't offended. But there are three words that I refuse to be used in my house retard is one. I yell at the kids and husband if they use it. Too me a person that is labeled retarded by the medical community was either born that way or had severe trauma and has become that way. To me the word is just disrespectful to call some one acting up retarded. Because there are people out there that can't help being that way. And to lump someone in that category that's acting well "retarded" that's capable is to me uncalled for. But that's my opinion.

    Answer by pagirl71 at 1:13 PM on Feb. 22, 2009

  • Another retarded question. This is at least the 4th in the last couple of days.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:58 PM on Feb. 22, 2009