On Other Blogs: This Isn't Just About A Word
03/06/2013 - 17:58
Ellen Seidman
Ellen Seidman

Please find below a guest post from Ellen Seidman, the firecracker author of 'Love That Max: A Blog About Kids With Special Needs Who Kick Butt.'

Ellen is a fabulous writer; we will all enjoy her blog if we haven't already, and we are nudging her to write for The New Normal, too.

She is a passionate advocate of "Spread The Word To End The Word" but she doesn't just say that. She came up with a quiz -- so clever! -- to really drive the point home. The first bit of her post is below the asterix. To read the rest, head here.


It started with an experiment where I tracked the word "retard" on Twitter and asked people to reconsider using it. And I've continued to speak out about the r-word and how offensive it is, as have many parents of kids with special needs and others. It's been gratifying to hear people say that they have quit using that word. It's been hard to hear people staunchly defending their use of it or getting into passionate diatribes about semantics and freedom of speech. Sometimes, it seems as if the word might be engraved on people's tombstones, so fond of it are they: Here lies Cassie, devoted mother, loving wife, advocate for the word "retard."

Today is the fifth annual day of awareness for Spread The Word To End The Word, a campaign created by the Special Olympics. To illuminate why the word is so demeaning, why parents take it so personally and why this isn't just about a word, I put together a little quiz I hope you'll share. The prize for acing it: a lifetime supply of compassion, consideration and soul.

1. The word "retard" is another word for...
a) Loser
b) Pathetic
c) Uncool
d) Stupid
e) Clueless
f) All of the above

2. The phrase "That's retarded!" basically means...
a) "That's uncool"
b) "That's ignorant"
c) "That's ridiculous"
d) "That's pointless"
e) All of the above

Click here to read more.

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I don't care for the term "retard or retarded" but I do know the meaning of the word and it does pertain to people who happen to have a medical diagnosis of mental retardation. I also don't care for the term "special needs" which has become rampant. People with a medical diagnosis, of any sort, do not have "special needs". We, as human beings created in the image of God, all have the same needs but for some folks they may need to be met in a different way than average folks. I hope we have a campaign to end the use of the term "special needs" and all labels put on people.