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How do I get the lable mentally retarded changed in the law to something less offensive, like cognitively impaired

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Asked by crsandvik at 11:04 PM on Sep. 28, 2009 in Politics & Current Events

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Answers (11)
  • Mentally retarded is a medical term it is not meant to be offensive. For some reason other people outside of the medical and psychological community decided to start using it in a derogatory way. In order to get it legally changed you are going to have to convince the psychological powers that be to use a different term. There is a difference between cognitive impairment and mental retardation by the way, so another term would need to be used. A person can have a normal IQ and still have a cognitive impairment. Mental retardation is just the measurement of a person's IQ. Anyone with an IQ of 70 or below is mentally retarded.


    Answer by FL2AK at 11:20 PM on Sep. 28, 2009

  • You can't put something like that into law, people can say whatever they want; whether it's offensive or not. They still have the right to say whatever they want.
    They can change it in medical paperwork like for medical explanations. But you can't make it a law where people can't say it on the street.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:21 PM on Sep. 28, 2009

  • You can't get it "changed in the law" because it is not a legal issue. Mental Retardation is a medical diagnosis. It is the correct clinical terminology used to describe a person who has significantly impaired cognitive functioning & deficits in two or more adaptive behaviors.

    And, If you were to get the term changed, what then? Because the new term would also eventually become the new derogatory insult, so what's the point? Are you going to lobby against that terminology, too? Instead, how about lobbying for a change in attitudes?

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:21 PM on Sep. 28, 2009

  • I'm curious as to how its offensive...its a medical term.

    Answer by abbynzachsmommy at 11:21 PM on Sep. 28, 2009

  • Well if you are serious start a petition. I am going to say a lot of people will think you are goofy. But the fact is Mental retardation / mentally retarded is a medical term.

    Answer by Crissy1213 at 11:50 PM on Sep. 28, 2009

  • Im a nurse, I know its a medical term but working with impaired people I personally find it offensive. When people think retarded...they think stupid and that is not the case at all. They are impaired.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:06 AM on Sep. 29, 2009

  • 1re·tard

    Pronunciation: \ri-ˈtärd\

    1 : to slow up especially by preventing or hindering advance or accomplishment :

    2 : to delay academic progress by failure to promote

    intransitive verb : to undergo retardation

    Main Entry: im·paired
    Pronunciation: \-ˈperd\
    Function: adjective

     being in a less than perfect or whole condition: as A : disabled or functionally defective

    going by the definitions here, "Impared" sounds more offensive than "retarded" IMO. The word "retarded" isn't offensive until someone uses it as an insult... just like Faggot, Gay, Queer, and Fairy all have original meanings that have nothing to do with homosexuality.


    Answer by Koukla12905 at 6:56 AM on Sep. 29, 2009

  • That being said, changing the name of the condition doesn't change the condition. Whether you call it mental retardation of cognitively impaired, it still means the same thing in that context. I doubt there's many blind people who feel so much better now that they're visually impaired instead. Words spoken in ignorance can only bother you if you let them.

    Answer by Koukla12905 at 6:59 AM on Sep. 29, 2009

  • i never found it offensive. i just see it as a medical term as

    Answer by Aasiyah at 8:59 AM on Sep. 29, 2009

  • I think the thing to do is to get people to stop using it as slang. My daughter is severely mentally retarded, that's one of her medical diagnosis. Every time I hear someone use it as slang, I explain to them that they are dehumanizing a group of people who cannot defend themselves. I like to show teenagers a great speech by Soeren Palumbo, a teen who spoke out at his high school about the slang use of the word "retard". You can tell me I'm wrong or oversensitive, but I'm right, and people just don't want to change the way they are, they don't want to think about what it's like to be retarded, or have a child who's retarded, they just want us to shut up and let them keep being immature and insensitive.


    Answer by syfymom at 12:14 PM on Sep. 29, 2009

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