March 04, 2013 | Europe Eurasia: Great Britain

Treat Us Like Humans, Not Lifeless Objects

By em

Me and my pet chickens

Luckily in England 'retarded' was not used on us. It was thick, stupid, simple and backward. I had grown up being called all of those by teachers and back then was hit with rulers and thrown into walls and tables to be restrained. It wasn't till South Park came here in the nineties that people began using 'retard' in a nasty manner, not that it coud ever be used in a nice manner, anyway. Retardation does not describe our disability, we are not 'slow'. We have a different mental capacity and process things differently. The word has so much bad history behind it and no one without our disability will truly understand-many of us have suffered so much due to the labels we were given. Feel lucky that come from the UK because it is called learning disability here,but people think they are being denied free speech when we tell them how them saying retarded affects us-so why is it they can mock/abuse the disability of vulnerable people but avoid doing it to gay people or people of different skin colour?

About em: I am 29 and a SO athlete since last year. I am severely autistic, have learning [intellectual] disability and live in a residential centre with people who are like the same.
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