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Sticks and Stones

Sticks and Stones?
Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me?

 

Life Quest Training and Consult

Dr. Nanette Bowles

Most of us have heard this saying.  We were likely told this as children by our well meaning parents.  Unfortunately names do hurt.  One word is being used more and more is the “R-Word”.  I hear it so often,

 “ I feel so R——-!”
“You’re a R—–!”
“Don’t be a R—–!”
“That’s so R——-!

What started as a term used by doctors and professionals to describe people with significant intellectual impairments has become a term of disrespect and insult.  Even if it’s not said to hurt someone with a disability, it is still hurtful.  Imagine you are a person with an Intellectual Disability, which is the accepted term, as you hear a group of teens teasing each other and using that word?  You know it’s not being said in kindness or as a professional definition?  Or imagine you use this term at work or school and find out someone close to you has a sibling with Down’s syndrome?  I went on a field trip with my sons 8th grade class last year.  I heard this term used offensively at least a dozen times.  After talking to them about how and why this is term is so hurtful, we came up with a whole list of words that can be used in its place.  Here are so…

“I feel so stupid!”
“You’re so random!”
“Don’t be a dipwit!”
“That’s so ridiculous or ridonculous…a word they made up.”

To promote this effort, I recently joined thousands in a pledge to Spread the Word to End the Word.  I encourage you to do the same.  

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 disabilities.

For more information, please go to: http://www.r-word.org/.