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Erase this word...

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I wish the r-word would just disappear. Poof! Be gone. Permanently erased forever.

>span class="s1">If you haven’t already, please kick the r-word to the curb, once and for all. I’m so tired of reading the expression “that’s so retarded.” People need to stop using it as a descriptor. It’s not a joke. The r-word has such a negative stigma attached to it.

In a world of social media and a pandemic, more and more people are going online including those with intellectual disabilities. They have a right to be in the online space free from disrespect and online bullying. I have seen friends use this word. It’s like a stab to my heart. They know the struggles that I have with my child, how hard he works, and the obstacles he faces and seeing them just throw that word around, out into the world- like nothing. It is beyond disheartening.

It is really one of the worst things that they can say. I wish that people thought before they spoke. I wish they realized how hurtful and demeaning the “r-word” is. I wish they could live in our world for a day so they could realize the love, kindness, strength, fight, heart, friendship, and perseverance of those living with intellectual disabilities. They are missing out.

>span class="s1">He is love, kindness, acceptance, purity, positivity, strength, and courage. He is smart. He is capable. He has encountered more obstacles, jumped more hurdles, and climbed bigger mountains in his mere five years than some people encounter in a lifetime. He is more than any assumption, barrier, limit, or diagnosis. He is and will always be more than the ignorance, negativity, hate, opinions, and preconceived notions of others. He will always be more than the r-word.

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