Ending the R-Word

What would you do if someone told you that something you were doing was causing pain to another?

Would you continue to make the choice to hurt others, blowing it off with a shrug of your shoulders and a remark that only you found witty?

Or would you stop doing the thing that was causing so much pain?

The words retard or retarded are extremely hurtful to those with intellectual disabilities and their families.

It’s time to End the R-Word.

None of us can change the world all by ourselves.  But we can change our personal space and those who share it

Many don’t realize the harmful impact these two words have.  However once we have had this explained to us we each have the responsibility to explain it to others.

Even if it’s sometimes uncomfortable.


My Curly Girly has learned this first hand.  She’s been the recipient of some pretty low blows simply for asking those around her not to use the words retard and retarded, explaining about her little brother, Parker.

While she’s cried a few tears in private, her game face has never faltered.  You make a joke at the expense of someone with an intellectual disability and you’re going to get schooled by a beautiful brunette who was just accepted to the Special Education program at BYU.

These seeds of advocacy do grow, even if it is years later.  McCall had a friend, one who had given her so much grief about  telling people of the hurt that comes from the word retard, come to her several years later and apologize.  Things in this now young adult’s life had changed, and suddenly the negative results from the r-word became personal.  The light went on, and she was mature enough to seek out my daughter and share her changed heart.

Today is the day we gather to raise awareness about ending the r-word.  One day a year isn’t enough.  Every day should be a day we find the courage to explain why this word has no place in anyone’s vocabulary.


  1. Maria Cordner Mar 6, 13
  2. Stacy Mar 11, 13
Read previous post:
G-tube Feeding

When a kid aspirates to the point that Parker does, they put a hole in their belly, a button in...