Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Today's the official day of "Spread the Word to End the Word." You can read more about the movement here.
I've posted how the word retardation actually comforted me in a odd way back at the beginning of our path with Elise, which you can read HERE. And HERE are my thoughts last year.
I am afraid that I am yet more saddened by it's use this year....and more wistful in my plea. I don't know if it will ever truly make me angry or cause me to get up in someone's face...although I have already been driven to calling out people in ways I never thought I would, due, in some manner, to Elise.
But this year, I am asking that you reconsider the ramifications of throwing the word "Retarded" around.
My daughter is not like yours. My battles are not like yours. My worries have taken on a life of their own.
My nightmares are more simple now. That my daughter will be taken advantage of. That she will not be allowed to hold a job. That all of the push toward euthanasia will include her. That if we turn to more socialized healthcare, that her "quality of life" will be in question. That she will never talk clearly enough to be understood. That she will never be able to express her needs and wants. That her physical limitations will prevent her from having fun experiences with the rest of the family.
When you allow the word retarded to roll off of your tongue, you trivialize all of Elise's struggles, all my fears, and you make me question our future.
Please remove the word "Retarded" from your vocabulary. Please remove it from your children's. Please protect my child from exclusion, please protect her future. Please don't allow your immature vocabulary from your middle school years to wreak havoc on my child's and my present.