Who knew? This time last year, I had no idea. But, today is actually World Down Syndrome Day (on 3/21 - since there are 3 copies of the 21st chromosome....cute, huh?). In honor of this day, I wanted to share a couple of videos that I think are important to watch, to think about, and to hopefully share with others. Both have to do with the word "retard/retarded" - otherwise known to me and many other parents of children with special needs as the "R" word. This is a word that I know I have used in the past. I didn't mean any harm by saying it - but I said it. Looking back, I wonder who I may have hurt without even realizing it. I imagine that many of you who use this word and other similar language don't mean any harm, but it is hurtful - so incredibly hurtful. Hurtful to the many people who have intellectual disabilities...and to the people that love them.
In my journey thus far and when envisioning my future with Brennan - the hardest part is the prejudice and ignorance of others that we will encounter. It hurts to my core....a feeling so intense, I've never experienced anything like it. So, please think before you speak. Realize how hurtful words can be. Talk to your kids about it, too. Because the more we know, the better we are. Hopefully each generation will be more caring, more compassionate, more understanding and more accepting than the generation before. We can all do our part in eliminating hurtful and demeaning language and making this world a better place for ALL people.