I work with young children, very young children. Children who have developmental delays. Some of these children will someday fall into the category of typical with just a little extra push. Some of these children will face developmental challenges throughout their lives. Some of these children will face medical needs no child should ever have to endure.
All of these children are beautiful. They are the reason I head off to work everyday with a smile. They are the reason I write here today.
This hurtful word is attached to so many of the kids I see. Sometimes placed there by medical professionals, sometimes by so-called friends or family.
Retardation is the act or result of delaying; the extent to which anything is retarded or delayed…
I meet new families all of the time. Many of them are scared. Someone has told them that their baby is not perfect. I disagree.
All babies are perfect. They are who they are meant to be. I share with each new family that I have seen amazing things in my tenure in this job. I have met babies who, on paper, look terrible. They should not be capable of anything if you look at their MRI or EEG or any other test a medical professional can throw at them. But somehow, these little ones fight through to achieve the impossible. One day their mother cries the happiest of tears because their toddler who shouldn’t do anything is getting into the Tupperware cabinet like other children her age.
I share with parents that ANYTHING can happen. There may be a brick wall for some children but it’s up to THEM to tell us when they get there.
The children I see are NOT retarded. No, based on the definition above the children I see are quite the opposite. They are determined, they are strong, they are loving, they are caring. They continually show that they have no predetermined limit to their abilities. No “extent of their delay” is truly documented.
It’s time to stop the hating. Stop using the word retard, or retarded. Stop being hateful of other citizens. Stop being hurtful.
We are all differently abled. Why not celebrate our similarities instead.
It was ability that mattered, not disability, which is a word I’m not crazy about using.
The only disability in life is a bad attitude.
Stop. Think. Love.