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I don't write daily, just when important things happen.
i totally surprised myself.
It's been a while since I've done any half decent writing.
I work with toddlers. The head boss lady sends out e-mails with assignments every once in a while. They're super easy.
And this one was on the word "Retard" and why is it bad to use the word around young kids.
I quickly wrote up a response and was shocked at my own ability.
As a person with special needs myself, I have grown out of the hurt of the word “retard”. I was the only one who called myself that and hurt my own feelings. Not knowing this, I used that word to describe myself countless times.
A fair amount of years have passed and I have realized I have done more damage to myself then anyone would have using that word as I did. I have grown up with special needs. I have been this way since infancy. Everyone that knows me can tell there’s something a bit off, but I’m well loved.
I love being the way I am. If others want to write me off because of it, that’s their choice. My handicap barely affects me. A saying I have always went by is “People can see what they want”.
I see myself as a strong woman. I am honest and trusting to a fault. I will be the first one to say that I am a bit slow because I am unafraid of being this way. I show it off. I brag about this because I’m very proud of the obstacles that I have overcome; mental, emotional and otherwise. If someone wants to ridicule me because of my “lack of capabilities”, I laugh and joke right along with them, because it shows that even though I am different, I can still find things funny. It is that skill alone that has landed me in my current path of life, and I’m damn proud of my accomplishments. Others may not see graduating high school and holding a job as accomplishments, but there are also people who don’t eat Brussels sprouts because that food is unknown to them, or has a reputation. Myself, I love Brussels sprouts.
Differences are a lot to digest for grown and well intentioned adults. Young children are much better and quicker to accept a different person in my opinion. And the reason I am so well adjusted to my own special needs is because I’ve had it for my entire life and will have these problems for the remainder.
Children, I think, are quicker, because they haven’t lived long enough to discover what society deems “normal, “great”, “achievement” and such words. So they accept much more than the previous generation. They are seeking knowledge and experience and not acceptance, so they are open to everything.
Everyone over the age of puberty seeks acceptance. They seek something to belong to and be part of, and they will hide a large part(s) of themselves to do so.
It is my opinion that when children reach puberty, a door shuts and a sign is put up that reads “No more learning! Now when you see something different you shall avoid it at all costs no matter how much or what kind of damage it will do to yourself or others! Now I will force you to learn to make your way in society, without accepting differences.” And the more they avoid differences after that door shuts, the stronger and more guarded that door becomes.

The word “retard”, while it may bring with it much more negative meaning then the actual definition, I believe, is an alright word to use in moderation. Sometimes tough love is necessary and that’s what I grew up with. That tough love has made me who I am today. If I had not been through that I would not be the strong, confident and proud woman I am.

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