Handling the "R" word - page 3
How assertive are you all about approaching people who use the "r" word? I have a co-worker who is aggressive about it to the point where she nearly got into a fight with a young woman at Target who... Read More
Dec 11, '13If it's describing a condition a person has, I have less of a problem than if it's used to describe their intelligence or an action. I just try to think of what it would feel like if someone said "That's so diabetic" or "She's diabetic!" to mean "That's stupid!" or "She's stupid." If someone says, "Oh, she's diabetic," I usually don't get offended, because it's describing the fact that I have diabetes.
I guess, though, unless we as a society change to be less hurtful to each other, using the r-word and other such language will be hurtful to some.
Dec 12, '13Using the term retard (about a person) is a lot more pejorative than using the term "retarded" about an inanimate object.
We gotta pick our battles in life, and someone using the term retarded to describe a printer that won't turn on isn't one of them, for me.
Dec 27, '13People first language is best: a boy with autism, a girl with downs syndrome. Etc....
Your disability is not you identity.
Mental retardation is a medical diagnosis. It would be said like this: a boy with mental retardation.
Dec 29, '13I typically do not confront people about it unless they're being extremely over-the-top with their use of it. I let my friends and family know that I don't like the word and would prefer it not be used in my presence, but I've found worrying about the word specifically to sometimes be counterproductive. That is, people will get defensive about being corrected and not do what you ultimately want them to do, which is learn the appropriate ways to interact with and speak to and about someone with a disability. I find that when they learn this, the R word invariably disappears of its own accord without my correcting them.
Mar 23, '14My issue is not with people who use the word to describe a person with mental retardation. My issue is when people use the word to mean "stupid" or as an insult. I for the life of me cannot get used to saying intellectually disabled. I have 2 children with autism and have many friends with children with differing levels of developmental disabilities. I don't mean it insultingly, but simply as a definition.
I have no qualms about correcting anyone who uses the word "retarded" or "retard" in an inappropriate manner.
Mar 28, '14Well, i have higher functioning autism but have a normal IQ.
I do not think i would be considered mentally retarded,but as someone sees autism on my medical records its automatically assumed i am the "r" word.
Mar 28, '14Quote from smartnurse1982Wow! Anyone who thinks that people with autism are retarded is ******! Yeah, I know I can't say it, but I do think, as forest gump said, "stupid is as stupid does" and a person who thinks that about people with autism has proven themselves.Well, i have higher functioning autism but have a normal IQ. I do not think i would be considered mentally retarded,but as someone sees autism on my medical records its automatically assumed i am the "r" word.
Jun 4, '14We have been used to shooting our mouthes without regard for so many years and now we have to learn how to talk again.
Oct 18, '14I think language changes too over time. Most of the younger generation now has rarely if ever heard people referred to as having mental retardation as that word is less frequently used. So the slang use of 'retard' to mean ridiculous or foolish or stupid - for many is not actually connected in their mind to someone with an intellectual disability. It is just a slang term. It is the same with how now insane, idiotic and crazy have just become part of slang language. Those are all pejorative words to describe people with mental illness but most people who use them aren't deliberately making fun of people with mental illness, they just use it as slang. In the past idiot or insane was always in reference to someone with mental illness - but we have over time disconnected the two and the same thing is happening in time with saying an object or event is retarded.
Oct 18, '14This is a double edged sword for me. I worked with individuals with disabilities for 5 years. I have conditioned myself to never use that word, but before that job (I started there when I was 18), I was young, dumb and didn't know any better so I used the word frequently.
I do cringe when I hear people call something "retarded" but most often don't correct them. If I hear someone referring to a person with a disability as "retarded", I do get very offended and correct them immediately.
For me, it's not so bad when it's used in reference to anything other than a person...but I still don't like it.
Now...when mentally retarded is used, I understand that not everyone has experience with working with the population, so I get that they think there is nothing wrong. When simply "MR" is said, for some odd reason I truly don't have a problem with it. But if a nurse giving me report were to tell me about "the retarded guy" i'd correct her immediately.
Ps...little fun fact, my consumers at that old job rallied and got the state governor to sign on abolishing the "R" word from basically all paperwork and the medical dx changed to developmental disability.
Oct 19, '14This is upsetting to me because my adult child who has CP and learning disabilities has dealt with this her entire life. Graduated from the university with a degree in math but has not been able to find a job. We believed that when she became an adult the world would be kinder but have found it is just as cruel sometimes as it was as a child.
Oct 23, '14Quote from VivaLasViejasI am a baby boomer and did not call anyone a retard when growing up. It just wasn't a word in my vocabulary I used nor anyone in my family used. One of my aunts' has Down Syndrome and growing up there were people in the community, the same people today (yes, some are nurses) who would say "there goes so and so and their retard aunt". I firmly believe it is one's upbringing to speak so callously.I have an awful feeling that the 'r'-word---meaning stupid or idiotic---has come back into use because a lot of us Baby Boomers used the term out of habit back in the '60s and '70s. I remember being shocked to hear MY kids throwing that word around the neighborhood some 20-odd years later. We never meant anything really insulting by it; whenever kids made fun of a "developmentally delayed" person, they usually called him/her an "M.R." instead of "retard" or "retarded".
None of that was OK. But now the current generations seem to have made further refinements to the 'r'-word ("libtard" and "f-tard" come to mind), and IMHO those are more insulting than the academic use of 'mentally retarded' as a descriptor in the case of a person of low intellect. But then, I guess I'm a product of my time, and some of the terms we used back in the day don't sound as harsh to my ears as they might to later generations.
Of course, the same can also be said of the generation before mine, to whom the 'n'-word, along with "guinea", "kraut" and other ethnically-related terms, were "just words". Nobody wants to hear those anymore. And while I think political correctness has indeed run completely amok, everyone should use some sensitivity to the way certain terms affect those at whom they are directed. Which is one of the many reasons why I don't use the 'r-word anymore.
Oct 23, '14Quote from suniHello. Congrats to your child for getting a degree! Are you familiar with DDA or ARC? Some of my former clients when I worked for a company providing Medicaid case management had developmental disabilities and I had them complete a DDA application and connected them with ARC. ARC is a wonderful organization that can assist the person to obtain job skills and/or in your child’s case secure a job in an area where they are trained and have applicable job skills. As you know, it is a rotten economy right now, has she looked on usajobs for federal positions? Best of luck to you and your daughter!This is upsetting to me because my adult child who has CP and learning disabilities has dealt with this her entire life. Graduated from the university with a degree in math but has not been able to find a job. We believed that when she became an adult the world would be kinder but have found it is just as cruel sometimes as it was as a child.