The R word bothers me. I don't think I ever really thought it was a nice word to use when describing something negatively. Even before I had Kendall. And for me, personally, I would never have written that word down on Facebook, or used it in a professional environment. That's just because I know it can be a hurtful word. I think it makes the person using that word sound insensitive and ignorant. But I know I've used that word before. Many times. Out loud. In front of family and friends, and never really thought twice about it. Until recently.
I've heard my friends say it, and their kids. I've seen people make the gestures or the "sound effects." Again, I think it makes those people sound uneducated. That's their problem. I can't control people's comments, or what they say around their kids, or what their kids say. Depending on my mood, I may or may not voice my opinion. But I will only do it once. If I tell you that that word upsets me (and my husband) as a parent of a child with special needs, and you continue to use it. You suck. And I'm over it.
It recently came to my attention that when Kendall starts school at 3, in our public schools, she will have one of two labels. Autistic or Mentally Retarted. So, if in her file, that word describes my daughter, and my son knows that, then hears an adult use the R word to describe something "dumb" they've done, or calls someone the R word as a noun derogatorily, how do you think that makes us feel?
Look, I'm not an overly sensitive person. I think everyone is entitled to their freedom of speech. But if you've taken the time to get to know our beautiful, special, loving daughter, you would also think twice before using that word. It hurts.