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Your Stories

July 21, 2017 | North America: New Jersey

Misdiagnosed

By 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.View Story ▼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 when I was attending special education classes. But there was a stereotyped viewpoint on students attending special education classes. Especially, when your riding home in a yellow school bus outside your school district. Whenever they saw students riding home in that bus, they perceive the R-word on them. Then the word gets around that you are in that bus. No one in the community wanted to get socialize with you or play any games or sports with you. And this is how you become isolated. Not only it was used by the peers in name calling and bullying, it was also applied as a normal interpretation by the educational system. Until they found out about mainstream when the IDEA was passed in 1975 and revised in 1990. This was the misunderstanding that not all disabilities are the same. And I am angered from this misunderstanding.

About STEPHEN F. COSTON :I am employed by Berry Global Inc. as a Mail Supervisor and had 38 years of mailroom experience. I have a college diploma in Computer training. I am married and we are both Special Olympics athletes in NJ
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July 14, 2017 | North America: Nevada

A teacher with a disability

By Nichole M. Shewbert

Growing up I was called a retard in school and by my peers. Today, I teach students math.View Story ▼Growing up I was called a retard in school and by my peers. Today, I teach students math and even if one of my students uses the "r" word in a joking manner I make them apologize and rephrase what they were saying eliminating the "r" word.

About Nichole M. Shewbert:I am a secondary education teacher who diversifies my teaching strategies to include as many students in my classroom as I can in my learning environment. I use inclusion strategies to include all.
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July 10, 2017 | North America: Florida

My Parents

By Madelyn H

Recently I heard my dad say the r-word. It bothers me, because I have a younger sister with Down syndrome.View Story ▼Recently I heard my dad say the r-word. It bothers me, because I have a younger sister with Down syndrome. I know the kind of language my dad was using is hurtful to my sister's community, her self-esteem, and it puts her in a category that she doesn't belong in. Thankfully my dad has never said the r-word directly in front of my sister, but he has said it with her in mind. I don't know how to stand up to him. I don't know how to speak my mind about this issue. My dad is my idol, but I guess he was knocked down from the pedestal.

About Madelyn H:
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July 10, 2017 | North America: Nevada

Light of the Party

By H. Villarreal

I love my cousin and I can't imagine life without him. I thank God he let us keep him!View Story ▼My cousin was diagnosed with DI when he was born and was to have a life span of 21 years old max. He was loved from the first moment and we've given him 100% support from that day. He's now 30+ and as happy as a child. He light up our family events, there's no "Breaking the Ice" because he's already out on the dance floor schooling every one on how to dance from salsa to hip-hop. He has such an awesome spirit that I wish I had bit of. I love my cousin and I can't imagine life without him. I thank God he let us keep him!

About H. Villarreal:I'm a general education teacher in Nevada. I love working with kids and love teaching them. I'm also a little league coach in my region. I have two healthy sons who I teach to appreciate everything.
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June 23, 2017 | North America: Missouri

The R word ranks higher than the F word in our family

By Marisa M.

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."View Story ▼My oldest brother has Cornelia De Lange Syndrome, it's on the rare side of genetic disorders and he is on the milder side. Shawn went to the local state school, he functions on the higher side of those with disabilities and he knows what the R word is. 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 never found out who said it but my friends heard about this so whenever he was with me at a school function, he had a small entourage of people that stayed with him to make sure it didn't happen again. We lived in a small town and from that day forward, no one said the R word around me and if it "slipped" into a conversation, there was a fast apology and they corrected themselves. To this day, everyone that knows me knows this is not a word that is tolerated around myself or my family. The R word is more offensive than the F word in my world!

About Marisa M.:I am a sister of a brother with mental disability and the mother of a son with Aspergers. We make sure we help the less fortunate & participate in charity drives for people with disabilities like Special Olympics
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Upcoming Events


Date

Event

Location

Tue Aug 15 - Fri Aug 18, 2017

Coaches Training

Special Olympics South Africa National Office will

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Mhluzi, Middelburg - MP -- North West
South Africa

Sat Oct 14, 2017
10:00 AM - 05:00 PM

Special Olympics Korea Mini Marathon

You can follow us through Weibo and Wechat @国际特奥会

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Seoul,
China

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Spread the Word 03.07.2018

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PledgeactPledges

We've Pledged!

  • Each human is amazing and deserves respect for all types of differences.

    Avery Kozloski

    Monson , Massachusetts

  • I pledge to stand up for those who can't do so for themselves.

    Cheyenne March

    West Chester, Pennsylvania

  • I hear it all the time at school and try to stop it but it's too much to handle alone.

    Brigid McKeegan

    Granite Town, Maryland

  • I have learned so much from my son and these special people. They are God's gift to the world.

    Rita Vasquez

    Sacramento, California

  • I pledge and support the elimination of the derogatory use of the r-word from everyday speech and promote the acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabil...

    ...

    Raelyn Walls

    Atlanta , Georgia

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