Saturday, October 20, 2012

Why I hate the 'R' Word.

I am pretty open minded. I don't mind talking about random subjects. I will even spar on the very uncomfortable topics, such as abortion, religion and politics. But one thing I am a bit sensitive's the use of the 'R' word. I don't like it. Nope, not one bit. I know it's a medical diagnosis. And I know it's used in certain diagnosis'. Heck, my son had a diagnosis of mental retardation before he was diagnosed with Autism.

So why don't I like it? Story time. Yes, I am ashamed. I've used it. More than I should. I've used it in reference to people and other things that I really shouldn't have ever done. But I know better now. I have respect and I would rather use terms responsibly.

Another thing I understand and would like to address. By making the use of a word bad or something that people get upset about gives it power....yeah I get that. But I also understand there's a certain responsibility we have as humans.We should treat people respectfully. I'm not going to throw out certain words, because I believe they are disrespectful. Maybe that is giving the word power, but I disagree. I would rather respect my fellow mankind than disrespect them.

So what really made me hate the 'R' word? Well that's a story of epic proportions. My son was 3 at the time and I wanted to have him in a church environment. We put him in a church preschool, after telling the director/teacher all about Caleb's problems. (He hadn't been diagnosed with anything at the time) She was so nice, told us that she would help him in every way possible. I was so relieved. I wanted some exposure to a church environment and thought this was the place. I couldn't have been more wrong. I came to pick him up from school one day. The teacher/director was standing outside the classroom chatting with another person. I thought it was a bit strange to leave 10-12 preschoolers alone in a classroom, especially my son who has some issues with scissors and such. He had been known to cut things that he wasn't supposed to. I went into the classroom and started to get Caleb's stuff and she came in there like a hurricane.

I stood there and listened to her as she proceeded to tell me about my son's day. Caleb had an accident and had been left in the bathroom all by himself. She told me that he had taken his feces and wiped them all over the wall. Internally I giggled. I mean, who leaves a kid alone in the bathroom like that? Then came the worst of it. She told me that my son, the light of my life...was a retard....was the stupidest child she had ever had in her class. Yes, I am not kidding. I think my mouth dropped. I don't really remember what happened next. I didn't say anything. I saw red. You don't call my son that. You just don't. I don't care who you are. I don't care if you're angry. You don't call a child names, especially one who has an obvious disability. I left and found out later, that she had left my son covered in feces which resulted in him breaking out in a rash. Yep...pissed off mom. I called and asked for my son to be removed from the program after that. I was done.

So, that is why I don't like the use of the 'R' word. I won't yell at you. I will educate you and probably ask you to not use it around me. It's just not a word I like...and I will probably get kind of angry if it's used inappropriately.

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