I have just taken the pledge to make the world a more accepting and inclusive place for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities!
Words are hurtful.
As the mom of an intellectually disabled teenage daughter,
I have seen first hand the damage this word can cause.
I have watched the use of this word
I will never forget the utter disappointment I felt when my Boom
was a mere 2 year old...
a close young relative; while joking with her friend about school issues
flippantly and unexpectedly
referred to a child who road the 'tart cart'.
As a new mom I froze in horror.
Now, I knew my young relative absolutely adored my daughter and in no way
to be hurtful...
a lesson in empathy ensued, I asked quietly,
"Some day Boom will go to school, and Boom will more than likely ride that bus.
Is that how you want other's to refer to her?
Will she just be another 'tart' who rides that little 'cart' to you?"
The lesson had been firmly imprinted that day and was never spoken again.
Through the years, we have been passersby
subjected to hearing the use of the R-word by strangers.
Children often throw the word around in local playgrounds and side streets
unaware of the damage it causes.
Friends and family have all too often while telling a story
or commenting on some incident in their daily lives
made use of the R-word.
Some but not all will stop mid sentence and look to me adding
"I'm sorry, you know I'm not talking about your daughter...
I didn't mean her, but"
as if informing us that the use of the word is Okay in some way.
It is NOT Okay...
Won't YoU JoiN Me by taking the Pledge too?
Visit www.r-word.org now and find out how you can help.