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People use the R-word, retarded, carelessly or as an insult. Here are stories about ways we've dealt with it.
The R-Word is an extremely derogatory and demeaning word. I fight as much as I can to keep it out of the halls at my school.
My boyfriend's sister has an intellectual disability. She's a sweet person and we've grown fond of each other.
I am a student in high school, and for the past three months I have been working on a short documentary on a very important cause to me.
I am 16 years old and I have an older sister with Down syndrome. If you don't know what Down syndrome is, it's OK, it's an extra chromosome.
I didn't ever get to see my uncle when I was little. I always wondered why I couldn't see him. When I was 5, I got to meet him and it was clear why I didn't see him until then.
People should learn to pick up a thesaurus and expand their vocab and delete the R-word from their life. Use a word that accurately describes your feeling and not settle on an outdated, hurtful, derogatory word.
Students in the L.C
One day I was in school and a kid came up to me and called me the R-word. I got really mad.
Jamie is probably the one kid who I believe truly understands me. He has Down syndrome. He just inspires me to do so much.
I was in high-school kids use that word as if it was not hurting anybody and laugh about it and they called me it and told me to get on the short bus.
When I was growing up almost every school grade I was in I was called the R word. It hurt my feelings a lot.
I'm 17 and I have autism. I get called the R-word a lot at school by a lot of people. I hate being called retard it makes me sad and it makes me want to cry all the time I hear that word. I wanted to tell everyone who has a special need that you are not alone.
One day me and my friend were walking home from school, and I have ADHD and dyslexia and I have to tell people not to say the R-word because it makes people feel like less than they really are.
Please take my "Open Letter" into consideration that I submitted into the weblink. I posted it on social media for an english class and it also got published in my hometown's paper.
The word retarded is never used correctly. Everyone says it, even my closest friends, and people who have a family member like my brother.
Loral I Barrie
I started the movement on campus. My initial goal was to get 200 pledges and ended up reaching 1,018!
My little sister was called Libbie. She was in my mum's tummy when we found out something was wrong.
I was hanging out with a friend and when I came back to my dorm I saw someone wrote the word retard on my whiteboard.
I am living in a small town where tolerance and acceptance of others is a relatively new concept. I need advice.
My friends don't know I'm autistic.
I didn't even know until a few months ago, but I always hated the r-word. It's derogatory, no two ways about it.
By Lillian Chaparro
People from this very day do not realize that using the r-word is very hurtful to us.
I was sitting at a table waiting for the program to start and and one boy got up from another table to leave, saying goodbye to his friend (another volunteer) with the parting words "go have fun with those retarded kids."
My friend K has Down Syndrome. She came up and asked me to tie her shoe. I tied her shoe. My cousin said "why are you tying her shoe? You shouldn't help retarded people."
I am currently 17 & in high school. For as long as I can remember, I've always been able to tell if someone had a special need, even if it isn't obvious. Ever since I could say "baby doctor", I thought I wanted to be a pediatrician.
So, I'm not disabled...well mentally at least. I have Aspergers Syndrome, a form of Autism, so there's people who use the r-word in a derogatory way towards me.
By maria acuapa
My brother taught me that no matter what health condition you have, you can be strong enough to prove to people that you are like them and they should not judge you for what you have but for what you know and can do.
For a long time I thought I could never have children again let alone one with Down syndrome....I didn't know he had Down syndrome until he was born...which didn't matter if I knew before that or after...I feel in love with him the moment I laid eyes on him.
This story came from a boy that is 14 year in New York on October 6th, 2015. This boy has a disability and at 11 years old he was treated like a monster at school, he was bullied everyday by boys who picked him up and thrown to the ground.
My sister deals with CP. People continually make fun of her for the way she walks. It's sad that people can't respect one another.
Thrown to the Ground
I have a deformed face, as people say. I was not born like that, but my face became like that when I was 11. I am now 14. I also have a leg disorder. Bullies pick me up, throw me to the ground, take my money.
My brother Derek is autistic and to most people that means he is slow, incapable, and below the average, however his description couldn't be any more opposite. He is the SMARTEST, KINDEST, AND MOST LOVING, person in my life.
I used to think that special needs kids weren't human. I would do my best to stay out of their way. Then one day in Gym, a girl with Down Syndrome came up to me.
"Would you like to run together?" she asked.
I have a learning disability, ADHD, and a speech impairment. I've been in a "special" classroom for math and language/reading. I have been called the R word and I become emotional when it is said.
While growing up in Australia the first thing I learnt was that people are incredibly uneducated when it comes to people with special needs. And horribly to this day my closest friends still cannot comprehend fully what it is like to live with someone who requires unique care.
Cindy ASD Mom
Our son has medical complexities and learning difficulties. He is an amazing, brave, resilient, funny, caring, thoughtful, cheeky, smart little man who seems to touch the lives of so many people and spread smiles wherever he goes.
My Uncle Tom has Down syndrome and was in the Special Olympics and won all gold. He even ran the torch for a little bit. He's a better athlete then I am and I'm so proud of him.
Words are choices, think before you speak and think about how YOUR words may hurt someone or someone's family member.
Carol H. Jewell
My sister-in-law, Heidi, has Down Syndrome. And she also has a fabulous, quick, sense of humor, can "run" the tv themesongs category in "Jeopardy," and loves the Red Sox and the New England Patriots. I love her very much.
Jordan was born in 1987. He was 6 when he died. He had developmental delays but he taught such great things. His love was one of an angel, he didn't know hate.
My name is Allyson I am 11 and I am all for kids with disablity's. They are my favorite people.
I know a girl her name is Skyler, and she has Down syndrome. She is one of those girls who can do everything. She is a great cheerleader and dancer.