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Make a Difference
People use the R-word, retarded, carelessly or as an insult. Here are stories about ways we've dealt with it.
I went to my daughter's IEP meeting. I looked down at her paper, and there in bold letters was the R word.
I have an aunt that has Down syndrome. She is very amazing.
My story is really my brother's. He is the best example I can think of for what can be - and is - when we drop the negative descriptions.
I ask this of all those who hate difference: try living just one day in my sister's shoes.
I know many people who have disabilities that range from autism to behavioral issues to anxiety and depression.
My best friend (now husband) has autism. Everyone made fun of him, never believed in him, called him names, some still do to this day.
In 2006, my nephew with Down syndrome became an orphan. We put our "Shelter Care" service on hold, and my wife and I welcomed my nephew into our home.
When I was in elementary school I had a classmate with autism. He was bullied just about every day. I regret not ever doing anything about it.
I was inspired to take this pledge after finding out that my little cousin has autism. He is such a sweet little boy.
People used to, and still do from time-to-time, make fun of me and call me "that word," because I couldn't make a simple decision like what I want to eat, etc.
I help out with these kids and they are not different, they are awesome people.
She SEES Jonathan! Other kids look through him, or see him as having little to give!
I have an amazing brother with autism, and I'm tired of people using the r-word without knowing its actual meaning!
I was always considered slow in school. Because of that I was put in special education my whole school career.
I grew up being a little slow in school and because of that I was never treated nice and was called the r-word.
One day in school a small group of boys were making fun of her and calling her names. They made her cry and it made me really angry.
My little cousin has autism and it breaks my heart everytime I see him.
I hope I see an end to the R word in my lifetime. Thank you for your campaign and determination to make that happen.
I have a best friend named Nick. He also happens to be my little brother.
We need to show love, respect and understanding to all people we meet. People who use this hateful word are often small minded.
It's really hard when people don't understand what the heck you're even going through.
MY COUSIN MICHAEL HAS DOWN SYNDROME. He is the most happy, funny, active, and smart kid I know.
A Girl With A Mission
I once knew a boy named Logan, who had Down Syndrome. He was one of the smartest, kindest, most caring people I knew.
Sawyer was never supposed to walk. My brother is now a runner.
My brother Mitchell has Downs syndrome and is a super amazing person!
My son has Autism, Global Delay, and ADHD. But that is not who he is.
addy or lune
when I was in first to fourth grade, I was bullied a lot for having dyslexia.
My dad heard me, so for the next two hours, he was talking to me about people with intellectual disabilities.
I went to school in Cold Spring. There was another person who made fun of my disability.
I never was someone who openly said the r-word in order to shame or insult another human being. But I would occasionally laugh or join in with a joke.
When my Aunt Sid heard one of my brothers teasing me, she said I was selectively smart and most of the family started doing that too.
Growing up, people always joked and said the R word loosely, often referring to an action someone did.
I am on the Autism spectrum. While I am high-functioning and intelligent, that doesn't mean people always react positively when I tell them I have Autism.
I want people to be treated with respect. So what if you have a disability, you're still smart no matter what.
Hello, my name is Hayden Redmon. I'm a Special Olympics athlete and I just graduated to be a Special Olympics Athlete Ambassador.
Jason A. Plants
When I was in 6th and 7th grade, there was a girl named Mandy. She didn't have any friends, and every time I heard anything negative about her, I felt guilty.
Then one day I blew up, I had enough of letting them push me around and being told I would never amount to anything.
I can't compete in varsity sports in high school because my skill level is low but Special Olympics gave me the chance no one else would give me.
I don't like the word at all and don't want it said.
This story is about my uncle James Ray. James Ray was born with Down syndrome. The doctors advised my grandparents to have him institutionalized.
My brother has ADHD and ADD. It was a challenge for him to learn throughout his middle school and high school life.
I was a young mom in the 80's, working from home for scheduling donation pick ups for a company going by the name of NW Center for the Retarded.
Lee Ann Flener
My son was born with Down syndrome on Jan. 1, 2016. I have heard the r-word used several times in my life and haven't really thought much about it.
My son has autism and since he was born, the word "retard" wasn't allowed in our house - even as a childish joke of a word.
I was in high school when the use of the word was brought to my attention. It was a moment of embarrassment for me when I used it.