was in the my room and my daughter was watching t.v well they said it and i know i am not 100% againt this word-people are going to use it and i have to pick my battles but this was on t.v does that make it diff. ?i think so because t.v(reality show) sends a mess. right.
mom to kyle 12-20-97(DS) loren 02-04-03(DS) gilly danie andrea and grandmother to audrey
Hmmm for me, I have never used that word and never would BUT my thinking is that people that use that word are the only ones that would be OK with it and honestly I have way to much to be doing then to try and correct all the silly people in this world.
I know lots here say we should educate but my thinking is ones that are educated already know and I personally spend my time working with Chris other then worrying bout silly people that make fun of others KWIM
Twosomy21, I'm not sure if I understand the question completely. Are you asking "is it ok when people on TV use the R word"? Or should we attempt to DO something about it when we hear it on TV too? You're right..............stuff that is on TV definitely sends strong messages.
My daughter is sixteen years old. Over the years, my feelings on this have changed quite a bit. In fact, right after she was born, a friend of mine said something like this "You know, I used to use the phrase "that's retarded" a lot. But then, Emily and John (another little boy about 3 years older than Emily) came into my life and I have vowed I'll never use it again"!!!!!!! Honestly? At the time she said it, my first thought was "Well, that's nice........but that word really doesn't refer to kids with Ds or any other form of mental retardation.............it's just a slang term that means something is 'stupid'". BUT, over the years, I have seen that this word (and so many other words that are derogatory) really DOES have implications for my daughter and others. I've watched as people (on TV and in person) have used that phrase and have made gestures that truly are making fun of people with disabilities. It promotes the idea that it is OK to make fun of these people in real life! It isn't just a harmless phrase. An attitude goes along with it. That attitude is something we do not want our kids to encounter.
I believe there ARE people who use the phrase out of habit and with NO clue that it is derogatory and don't mean it in a negative way. They have never really given thought to how hurtful it really can be. Those people can very easily be taught!!! And, as I've said before..........if we only teach ONE person to stop the use of this word, that will probably result in lots MORE people who no longer use it. This is WORTH a few minutes of our time! Am I saying we need to quit our full time jobs, never spend a moment with our kids, and do nothing but teaching people to THINK before they speak? Please. Of course not. But, we can devote a minute or two to this when it occurs in our life. People send letters to TV stations and producers all the time when something is said on a particular show, and there are times when that has helped!! So, yeah............I think we can help in that case too.
Several years ago, Emily's younger brother came home from school and told me about a situation that happened that day where someone said "you're such a retard" in front of him. He said he didn't even think about it. He just said (not angrily....just matter of fact) "We're not allowed to use that word in our house. It makes fun of people, like my sister, who have mental retardation". He said the person who used the word is someone who knows and likes Emily, and they immediately said "Oh man! I never thought of it that way"!!!!! And, he has never heard that person (or others in that group who were there that day) say it again. He still says something like that..........but no longer starts out by saying "we aren't allowed to use that word in my house". I think that is because it's now something that means something to HIM.......not just a rule that his parents have. We can already see the result of his efforts, because there are now a group of teens at his school who no longer think it's OK to use words like that......because of Jordan taking less than a minute to help them see why it's wrong.
Kathie Snow has some thoughtful comments about the use of those kinds of words. I recently shared it with a doctor who referred to Ethan as a "downy kid". Burned my butt, let me tell ya! Because I'd already politely asked him on an earlier occasion not to refer to Ethan by his disability, I sent him a letter explaining why I found the term offensive. I included Kathie's "people-first language" piece, and while I was polite, I also plainly stated I felt it language unbecoming a medical professional and stated in no uncertain terms if I heard it again, we would find another doctor. At an absolute MINIMUM I expect my child to be treated with respect. I was nice about it, sent it marked "personal and confidential" so it wouldn't be read by his office staff, and sent a copy also marked personal and confidential to the managing partner of the practice.
There is a quote on Kathie Snow's website by George Orwell that I think sums it up.
"If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought."
I think we are all called to do this in any way that we can. It may seem a small thing, but the implications are huge. As Kathie's website says:
Isn’t it time to make this change?
If not now, when? If not you, who?
People First Language is right. Just do it—NOW!
Laura, mother to Nicholas (27), Victoria (15), Ethan DS (11 years) and Aidan (7 years)
"The true realist is the person who sees things both as they are, and as they can be. In every situation there is the possibility of improvement; in every life the hidden capacity for something better." Lester B. Pearson