Thursday, November 11, 2010

*Is the name of my blog offensive to you?

Guess what, it's offensive to me too. In April of this year my 20 month old son was diagnosed with fragile X. Fragile X is one of the leading causes of 'developmental delays' - or as we called it in my day, mental retardation.
To have your baby diagnosed with this is inexplicable. The grief, sadness, horror, guilt; to look at my adorable son and know my genes caused it - the pain has been unbearable.
Since that day, I have been trying to survive. Trying to get through each day - parenting, working, living - not falling apart. That has been work enough. You'll never know how many people throw around the word "retard" until that word changes your world.
I hear that word - 'retard' 'retarded' - daily. My clients, coworkers, everyday literature, even my friends and family throw it around in daily conversation. Just like I did.
And EVERY time I hear that word - EVERY TIME - it is a punch in the gut. That word, used derogatorily, conjures up my beautiful son's face. I can't quite put that word and my son's face together. When he was diagnosed - the day a 2 minute phone call rocked my world - I put down the phone and thought "He's retarded. A retard. My son's retarded." It just kept going through my head, over and over, trying to reconcile the shock, that word, terror.
People complain that our society is too 'politically correct." I've been a social worker for 11 years, so political correctness doesn't bother me and much of it I feel is overdue.
But if you are reading this, I beg you to reconsider using that word. Don't punch me in the gut, my year has been bad enough.

1 comment:

  1. Love your new blog, Quinn. :) And I'm glad you're taking a stand for Owen, your family, and others out there! I can't remember the last time I used this word or that other ubiquitous and just as disgusting one - "gay". Every time I hear one of the Real Housewives say "retarded" on national TV I cringe and can't even believe it. People sometimes need it pointed out to them to even be conscious that they're being so ignorant and insulting and I hope your new blog helps to make a difference. Keep writing! It's therapy! Love, D.


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