I must admit that I never gave much thought to the word retarded. I work with teens and thus the two words I would often hear during sessions was retarded and gay. Again, I didn’t give it much thought because I figured it’s just teens being teens. Then my daughter Sophia was born and the word retarded took on a much different meaning.
Sophia was diagnosed with Down syndrome in the first few days of being born. Now don’t feel sorry for me. She is one of THE biggest blessings of my life. She opened a whole new world to me. I have met amazing people, heard amazing stories and seen incredible relationships. I have also experienced challenges that I never would have if I didn’t have Sophia in my life.
People usually don’t say the word to hurt me, Sophia or my family. They most likely say it because they don’t have someone in their life to remind them that everyone is unique and special and shouldn’t be singled out by words. I don’t get mad when someone says it. I do like to point out, if it is appropriate, that it’s not the best word to use because one can never know if they are offending someone with what they are saying.
Meet Sophia, one of my deepest joys…