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Your Stories

April 17, 2017 | North America: Alabama

How the R-word affects a mother with a child with mental impairments

By Melissa Montgomery

I am a 43 year old mother of 18 year old twin girls. When they were in the first grade, they were tested by the county school system and legally label "mentally retarded".View Story ▼I am a 43 year old mother of 18 year old twin girls. They are beautiful, smart, artistic and they have mild cerebral palsy, which has attributed to mental impairments. When they were in the first grade, they were tested by the county school system and legally label "mentally retarded". My immediate response was "Excuse me? Isn't 'mentally retarded' a bit antiquated and politically incorrect?" Their response was that at the time, that was the "legal" jargon used for description. Not only was this not the news I was hoping to hear but, the words "mentally retarded" used as a label for my precious daughters, cut through my heart like a knife. I have always had a heart for people with any variety of impairment and as a child, I would stand up for the children that other's laughed at calling "retard". Now, in my adult years, I'm not afraid to correct even friends when they say, for example "This is so retarded" or "He/she is such a retard". They know not to use THAT word again.

About Melissa Montgomery:I am a wife and mother of 3 wonderful teens (two of which have CP). My family is the greatest joy of my life with the added blessing of raising my girl's who have mental impairments from C.P.
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April 06, 2017 | North America: South Dakota

Why do they continue to say these hurtful words?

By Julia

There is a group of kids, that only use these words because they know that i am against it. How do i help them understand the deeper meaning behind these words?View Story ▼There is a group of kids, that only use these words because they know that i am against it. How do i help them understand the deeper meaning behind these words?

About Julia :Just girl rying to the right thing.
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March 31, 2017 | North America: Virginia

Why is it so wrong?

By A.ham

I was at school and I heard my friend Harrison say the r-word when I told him not to say it he asked why.View Story ▼I was at school and I heard my friend Harrison say the r-word. When I told him not to say it, he asked why. I wasn't sure what to tell him, so I told him that it was disrespectful and mean even if he didn't mean it that way. He hasn't said it in a while and I'm proud I could help him and others understand. Another time a new kid at school said the r-word and I told him not to, and when I gave him reasons he just didn't get it. That night I sent him about five articles expressing how it felt when the r-word is used. After that he stopped, and the next day apologized to me, saying that he understood. The other day I heard him tell another student not to say it and I gleamed with pride.

About A.ham:I am a student just trying to do the right thing.
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March 31, 2017 | North America: Southern California

Line 'em up and call 'em out.

By JoAnn Pine

I should have known then, that the word would become one of the 'should be abolished' words. Words hurt more than blows.View Story ▼My 50-yr old mentally handicapped son was 8, when I was helping get a group of older boy scouts ready for a trip. One of them called another "retard". I was furious. I made them all line up and told them how wrong that was, and they never know when someone listening had a child who truly had what we used to call "retardation." That is the word we used back then, and it was not a 'dirty' word, although it did sting to hear it used in such a way. They were embarrased, and the scout leader said all the typical things, like, "they didn't mean it that way", etc. I hope he learned something, too. I should have known then, that the word would become one of the 'should be abolished' words. Words hurt more than blows.

About JoAnn Pine:I was one of fewer than 20 parents who started the School of Hope, now known as Rainbow of Challenges, in Hope AR, the pioneer organization in the state helping children and adults with special needs.
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March 31, 2017 | Europe Eurasia: Great Britain

Stand Up and Be Heard

By Maddie

I try to stop everyone around me using these words, but to stop it completely is a much larger battle that needs a lot more people to stand together.View Story ▼My cousins both have Down syndrome, and one also has autism. When they were first born (9 years ago) I didn't understand what this meant, but they have both changed my life and are my inspiration to try and improve the way of life for others like them. I haven't always been a strong willed person, but the one thing that motivates me to do better is them. I think that these words are so commonly used now without people knowing their true meaning; many people don't use them in offensive manner and what they need is to be properly educated on it, however nothing is available. I try to stop everyone around me using these words, but to stop it completely is a much larger battle that needs a lot more people to stand together.

About Maddie:I'm a 17 year old student with two cousins with learning difficulties and I want to be a human rights lawyer that stands up for the rights and well-being of people with special needs.
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  • Each human is amazing and deserves respect for all types of differences.

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    West Chester, Pennsylvania

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    Granite Town, Maryland

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    Atlanta , Georgia

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