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Raising Special Needs Kids Raising Special Needs Kids

Being Retarded...Meet Maura

Posted by on Jan. 9, 2012 at 10:29 AM
  • 383 Replies
120 moms liked this

This is from the blog Herding Cats by Phoebe. Share your thoughts on this blog below.

All around me, people use the word retarded without a second thought.  Sometimes, I’ll say “Um, dude, really?” and they’ll say “Oops, my bad!  But really!  I was being so retarded!”

Sometimes, I let it slide.  I realize that it’s a word that’s ingrained in our society’s vocabulary and people use it without a second thought to its meaning.

But what does it mean to be retarded?  Well, I know what it doesn’t mean.

It doesn’t mean not being able to choose something for lunch despite 100 choices in front of you.

It doesn’t mean not being able to find your car keys.

It doesn’t mean saying the wrong thing to a person.

It doesn’t mean forgetting your best friend’s birthday.

It’s not something to describe yourself as when you’ve spilled your coffee, or tripped on a crack in the sidewalk.

It’s not something to describe your computer, car or phone.

According to  Merriam-Webster Dictionary  the word “retarded” means -

: slow or limited in intellectual or emotional development or academic progress

For me, it’s not just any old word – it’s my daughter.  My beautiful, bright, happy, loving, amazing daughter who is slow or limited in intellectual development and academic progress.

In our household, being retarded means something different.

It means not being able to fully care for yourself.

It means not understanding what the doctor is going to do to you.

It means not being able to explain what hurts when something hurts.

It means not being able to ride a two wheeler.  Or read.  Or ever be able to live on your own.

But ever the optimist, I also know that retarded means…

…never realizing the negativity behind the word retarded.

…never knowing the insensitivity surrounded the word’s usage.

…never realizing the ignorance of people.

…never knowing how other people view you.

Being retarded also means…

…loving unconditionally.

…finding joy in the smallest of things.

…being self-confident.

…not realizing that there are limitations.

…innocence.

 This is Maura.  Her diagnosis?  Cognitively disabled.  Which means retarded.  When you call yourself retarded, you’re also calling my child stupid.  Because you use the word as just that – another form of stupid.

Let’s get something straight here.

My daughter may have cognitive issues.  She may have delays.  She may never live on her own.  Scratch that.  She will never live on her own.

But Maura is not stupid.

In her own way, Maura is very smart.  Maybe smarter than us at times.  She has more self-confidence than anyone I know who’s called themselves “retarded”.  She is the best judge of a person’s character than anyone else I’ve ever known.

Yes, she is slow to learn things.  But she is not stupid.

I know that most people don’t use the word “retarded” maliciously.  Most people I know use it in a self-depreciating way.  And when I point it out, they go “Oh wow!  I’m sorry!” and they truly feel like a heel. But the thing is, you’re still using it in the way that people who do use it maliciously use it as – to describe stupidity.

So why not just use the word “stupid” instead?  Because I know what “retarded” is.  I live with it in the form of my daughter.  And in our world “retarded” doesn’t equate to “stupid”.

From the blog Herding Cats

by on Jan. 9, 2012 at 10:29 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Cafe Jenn
by Jenn on Jan. 9, 2012 at 10:32 AM
5 moms liked this

Check out this photo from Herding Cats too.

I love the Princess Bride and this is just priceless.

CameronsMommy23
by on Jan. 9, 2012 at 10:36 AM
4 moms liked this
I like this! Thx for posting it!
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
letstalk747
by Joy on Jan. 9, 2012 at 11:06 AM
1 mom liked this

i have seen this before , and like it alot

paganmom05
by on Jan. 9, 2012 at 11:30 AM
2 moms liked this

YES! I love that. I get on people all the time for the "r" word.

Quoting Cafe Jenn:

Check out this photo from Herding Cats too.

I love the Princess Bride and this is just priceless.


Pagan Mompagan 2

JTnJT
by on Jan. 9, 2012 at 11:37 AM
4 moms liked this

Ok, hadn't really planned on starting my day out with tears....but this did it!   I LOVE IT!!!   As someone who grew up with a sister who was considered "retarted" due to being intellectually slow....she will be 41 this year, but mentally she is only about 15 or 16.   This touch my heart in ways I can't even put into words.  

ForeverInLove
by on Jan. 9, 2012 at 11:43 AM
2 moms liked this

I try hard not to use the word, unless I'm using it in proper context. I have a son with delays, undiagnosed. He won't be evaluated until April/mayish so they can evaluate him more towards the end of the school year, to better prepare the new kindergarten teachers about him, what his ticks are, and how to deal with him. I do not want calls home everyday, that they can't handle him... It will be nice to have an IEP in place in regular school (not early childhood special education, which is what he is in right now with an IEP) so that they have something to follow. I can't complain about the current situation and what they are willing/planning to do so that he has the best chance at getting a fulfilling education.

1gr8mommi
by on Jan. 9, 2012 at 11:43 AM
5 moms liked this

For awhile now I have tried to erase the word "retarded" from my vocab. After readiing this I don't think I will have any slip ups and I think many many many other people out there should read this!
She looks so happy and is a very beautiful girl!!

ctcountrygal
by on Jan. 9, 2012 at 11:44 AM
2 moms liked this

It is nicely written.  I know us ladies on here  can relate. 

 I have posted this topic in several posts in the Newcomers  Club and it is amazing and sad how many moms just don't get and who don't want to get it.  ( It is just a word, I never say it when I know there is someone present it could offend,  and many moms like to tell me to " just get over it"

i.heart.nerds
by on Jan. 9, 2012 at 11:51 AM
2 moms liked this
My friend, who has a developmentally delayed and ASD daughter posted this on fb.
LovemyQ
by on Jan. 9, 2012 at 11:52 AM
7 moms liked this

I agree with ctcountrygal. It is sad how some people don't care about others. Being pregnant with a child with Down Syndrome, I have become more attuned to when people say that word. It stings.

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