The R-word…

The word “retarded” can be viewed in many lights, most of them unkind.  Growing up next to a sibling with developmental delays and cognitive challenges, I learned from an early age the level of pain that word can cause. To this day, it is equivalent to an “F-bomb” in my house, and anyone who slips it is quickly chastised.

Today, the Huffington Post published this article, which is written by John Franklin Stevens. Stevens, who is listed as the Special Olympics Global Messenger, clearly has Down’s Syndrome. He is quite articulate and his perspective incredibly important. He shares how hurtful the “R-Word” can truly be.

This does not directly relate to Vision Therapy; however, as a profession working with those affected by similar and other challenges, I offer it as a reminder that these things can be extremely hurtful, even when said in jest.


Posted on March 5, 2014, in From My Perspective.... Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. In the 1990’s when I worked with Special Olympics we were taught that the “PC” term was “persons with mental retardation.” Fortunately that has changed, and “Intellectual Disability” has taken its place. Thank you for sharing this, Robert. There are far too many health care practitioners who avoid or have limited schemes for evaluating patients in this population. During our “Healthy Athlete” screenings we found that many of the athletes had never been evaluated, though many were in great need of optometric, dental, etc. services. One of the goals of HA was to educate health care practitioners about the wealth of information one can get doing a “non-traditional” evaluation. Another was to help dispel the fear/avoidance of persons in this population


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