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People use the R-word carelessly or as an insult. Here are stories about ways we've dealt with it. For more information go to www.r-word.org.
I'm autistic and nobody treats me badly because I'm nice to other people. I strongly support ending the use of the "r-word".
I have a degree in special education but I have used the "r-word" before at home among family to refer to people without disabilities who are dangerously ignorant, IE drunk drivers and such. Not realizing the irony, I now see how I have slandered a community I advocate in the closest and most dear
Since I can remember I have had a friend with autism who I hold dear to my heart. We grew up as good friends. I never saw him as any different but of course many people did. I knew that his social life had to be hard. Junior year of high school he asked me to attend prom with him and I was overjoyed
The R-Word is super hurtful. People need to understand that it does NOT mean "stupid." I hear people throwing the word around all the time. I go to a Christian high school and I would expect people to have more respect! I hope some day everyone will understand that the R-Word is very disrespectful a
Having Down Syndrome is part of me. What makes me feel bad in life is when people say the "R-word." It hurts so many people who are born with or without a disability but now we can make a change in our lives the way we know it.
Last year I was in line for a roller coaster with my boyfriend and his best friend. As we were about to get on, we saw a boy with Cerebral Palsy getting off the roller coaster. My boyfriend's friend proceeded to laugh at him and call him the "r-word". I was shocked. How could someone be SO insensitive?
I go to middle school, where the majority of the people who go there believe that the r-word is synonymous with stupid. I know multiple people with learning disabilities who I doubt are okay with that. It needs to stop.
Jeremie and Sarah Aleshire
My husband and I have a son with Down syndrome. He has changed people's hearts and minds one hug at a time. He loves those who pick on him and in turn, they see love in its purest form, unconditional. When someone stares at him or points or laughs, I walk him over and introduce him to them. He gives
Many years before I was born my sister contracted meningitis. She had been a happy, healthy 4 year old child before this. When my sister went into the hospital, my parents were told it was only a matter of time and they had already seen 3 children die from it. My sister was a fighter and lived but w
People in my family have different types of disabilities and have been called the "r-word" a lot. One time my cousin, who has autism, was called the "r-word" once and he came home in tears. It hurt me really badly to know that because someone learns differently than someone else, they would be called that bad name.
My sister was intellectually disabled. She had to put with a lot of ignorant people, even school teachers who used the "r-word". Fast forward 27 years later when I had my first child, who was later diagnosed with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex
I have two sons Donovan and Todd that are now 15 and 16. When they were younger the school used the "r-word" to classify them and this made me very mad. I refused to allow them to use that word to describe them.
I have a daughter with Down Syndrome, and it really bugs me when folks jump to the conclusion that she or any child with a disability are the r-word.
I was taught from a young age that the use of the r-word was only a reflection of my own ignorance. I now have a son with Down Syndrome and despise the use of this word even more than ever. My son is the light of my world and honestly a light for everyone he meets. He is the most amazing person I
Some years ago my Parish Knights of Columbus had their annual Tootsie Roll sale.
I have two cousins who have autism. They were always called the R-word and would be called that name at school. It got so bad that they had to move schools.
I dislike the R-word very much. I know people that have used it as an insult, but also as a way to make fun of someone that has an intellectual disability. My cousin is physically AND intellectually disabled and has been called the R-word as a way to make fun of him, which makes me dislike this word
My brother has autism. I used to hear kids at school say the r-word and I didn't think much of it. That is the type of society we live in. But ever since he was born I have gotten mad at other kids using words like that. I love my brother and I hope that people stop using the r-word.
My son Zach is four years old, and one of only 10 children in the world currently diagnosed with his genetic disorder. He is non verbal, and faces a variety of physical and intellectual disabilities. I refuse to stand by and let anyone reduce his identity by describing him, or anyone like him with t
Me and my friend were being immature and was using inappropriate words like the r-word. Right now I feel bad because there was a person with special needs in that class when I said that word. Me and my friend wish we could apologize to everybody that heard and were affected by it. My advice is to be
Let's make an effort to remove ugly phrases from our language and discourage those who use those words in a derogatory manner from doing so.
I had a dear friend with special needs. When I first met her I didn't know what to think of her.
I was walking to the supermarket the other day and a person starts beeping their horn at me and yells out at me, calling me a "retard."
Really, I credit fully my sister's deep compassion for mentally challenged people that broke me from using the "R" word in my teens.
William Edwin Baxter.
I have two cousins with intellectual disabilities. One has what is believed to be a brain injury from a very high fever when he was very young and the other has Fragile X Syndrome.
So when I got pregnant with my first child I didn't know anything was wrong until she was about seven months old. The doctors sent us to a special center and did two weeks of testing.
The R WORD was never tolerated in our home. Whenever someone we knew or didn't know used that word, we let them know it was NOT ACCEPTABLE.
I'm watching a movie on the USA Network. The characters were discussing Autism and the network censored out the R-word. BLEEP!
STEPHEN F. COSTON
When I attended elementary school to high school from the late 60's to the 70's, a lot of my peers called me the R-word.
Nichole M. Shewbert
Growing up I was called a retard in school and by my peers. Today, I teach students math.
Recently I heard my dad say the r-word. It bothers me, because I have a younger sister with Down syndrome.
I love my cousin and I can't imagine life without him. I thank God he let us keep him!
Shawn was at one my school functions and he was called the R word without me knowing and came home in tears asking mom if he was "retarded."
I used to get called the R word every day at my old job. The guy had autism too, and he thought it was funny.
My experiences have reinforced my pledge to never use the R word and to discourage those around me from ever using it.
My son Brian has been diagnosed with Down syndrome.
One of my best friends when I was about 6 years old was Charlie Boy. He had Down syndrome, and he was funny, kind hearted and loved to play with me and my younger sister.
Coby Jane has Fragile X syndrome. Every day is a struggle, but she takes it all in stride with a beautiful smile upon her face.
Sheena West Jennings
Alicia Dudow, now 46 years old & contary to doctors who at the age of one advised us to place her in a facility since she would never be able to be independent, she has proven all wrong.
Some boys at my school called the special needs children "retards" that really hurt me.
Growing up, I was taught to never demean others because of their differences. I always tried my best to respect those with disabilities.
Willis Junior High's Best Buddies Program in Chandler, Arizona has been doing an incredible job with their Spread the Word to End the Word campaign.