Monday, February 28, 2011


This word didn't used to offend me. And it still doesn't really...unless you use it to describe my child. I mean, she IS retarded, by definition. But, "special needs" just sounds so much more friendly. And we use "special needs" or "special" the same way we'd use "retarded" so what's the big deal?! I don't know.

The word "retarded" sounds so negative, I guess. I know when I use it, it's not to point out someone's positive attributes. Like, we watched that movie, "Dinner with Schmucks" and I asked Brian about Steve Carell's character, "is he supposed to be retarded?" I could have said "special," but "retarded" was more the word I was looking for.

However, when I'm talking about my own child, "special" seems so much more appropriate. Maybe it's because I want to focus more on how special she is instead of how behind she is. Maybe it's because it's more important to me what she CAN do and what she IS (like alive) than what she can't do (yet). Maybe it's because my heart breaks a little everytime I realize that the older she gets, the more she's going to realize that she's different than other kids, and she's going to get made fun of. She'll probably even be called "retard." I guess it'll be important to teach her what "retarded" means, and that it isn't necessarily a bad just makes you more special. Because she is special, and anyone who takes the time to get to know her realizes that.

1 comment:

  1. It's a sad commentary on society that a word that is basically a classification, similar to "blond" or "Asian," has become such a slur (just like the word "gay" has).
    Also, if anyone makes fun of her, please let me know so I can go slash their tires! :)