Tomorrow is the annual day of awareness and pledge to stop using the word "retard". I'm not asking people to stop saying it because I want to be "all PC" or the word police. I'm asking people to stop using that word because when they use it, they are demeaning people like Owen.
Yes, Owen has some form of mental retardation; that's a big part of what Down syndrome and its pesky extra chromosome does. It hurts to me to even write that, but I know that those words don't define him. I know that my son's IQ will fall somewhere on that scale, but that's not WHO he is--he's not a "retard", he's Owen. And when people use the word "retard" to mean stupid, they are saying that my son is stupid. He is not. He can problem solve: he wanted to wash his hands last night and couldn't reach the sink. So he went downstairs, dragged his plastic stool upstairs to the sink and took care of business and he did it without asking for any help. He is learning to write, he knows basic shapes and colors, he's almost swimming on his own, he can do puzzles faster than I can dump the pieces out, his memory is pretty darn sharp, he picks up signs like nobody's business. He's not stupid. Will he win a Nobel Prize? Probably not, but neither will I and I have a master's degree and some would classify me as fairly "smart".
I'm asking everyone to think before they speak. Let's stop using words that belittle people in all walks and all abilities of life. Take the pledge!
I think this picture says it all, don't you?