Check Yes or No

Today I had to take Elena to the dentist and I had to fill out a checklist of medical issues because this was her first appointment.  No big deal, right?  That’s what I thought until I was confronted with the box for Mentally Retarded.  I accept this medical terminology, but my heart still caught in my throat because the word retarded makes me crazy.  It is all to often used in such a harmful way that now when I see it, even in its proper use, I get a little upset.  I came home and decided to look up the definition of the word and here is what I found.

From Webster’s Dictionary, “slow or limited in intellectual or emotional development or academic progress”.

No big deal you must be saying, this seems like the correct definition to me.  Well I would agree, but then I dug some more.

From Urban Dictionary, “a waste of time, abandoned, abject, abominable, abortive, absurd, afraid, aimless,  anxious, apprehenaive, arid, arrested, assailable, atomic, awful, baby, babyish, backward, bad, banal, barmy, barren, base, baseless, bastard, beastly, beggarly, behind, beside the question, blah, bland, bogus, bomb, bootless, boyish, brainless, bromidic, bummer, caitiffcapricious, careless, catchpenny, characterless, cheap, checked, cheesy, childish, childlike, clichéd, cloying, coarse, colorless, common, commonplace, confusing, contemptible, cotemptible, controvertible, conventional, cool, corn, cornball, corny, corrupt, counterproductive, cowering, cracked, crap, crappy, craven, crazy, crud, cruddy, daffy, daft, dastardly, dazed, dead, deadpan, deficient, degraded, degrading, dejected, delayed, delusive, dense, dense, deplorable, depraved, despicable, destitute, detestable, devoid, diffident, dim, diminutive, dippy, directionless, dirty, disgraceful, dishonest, dishonorable, dismayed, disposable, disreputable, dizzy, dodo, doltish, dopy, dotterel, down, downtrodden, drab, drifting, drudging, dull, dumb, empty, empty-headed, erratic, evanescent, everyday, evildoer, excessive, exhausted, expendable, expressionless, facetious, failed, failing, faint-hearted, fallacious, false, fanciful, fatuous, fawning, featherbrained….”

Reading that definition made me angry.  Angry that this is the way a majority of people use the word, angry that most people think its okay, and angry that one day my sweet girl, who doesn’t not fit into that definition, will one day be confronted with it.

I can accept the word in its medical place, but I can not and will not accept it in any other form — please, won’t you do the same?  My daughter is loving, determined, a blessing, and so much more.

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~ by triumphsforelena on September 30, 2011.

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