Spread the Word to End the Word

Spending my day as I usually do online I saw a tweet from Tanis that caught my attention. The tweet had a link to this post at her blog, The Redneck Mommy. Of course I clicked over because she often writes about her adorable son with special needs, which was the case in this particular post. I was a little upset to find that I hadn’t even heard of Spread the Word to End the Word until today. As a mom to a child with autism I try to pay attention to anything related to support for kids with disabilities, but somehow I had totally missed this amazing website devoted to ending the use of the R-word – retard or retarded. Those words don’t ever leave my lips or even enter my mind so to even type them makes my stomach turn a little. This is one of my very favorite pictures ever taken of my kids, Cody and Nick.

The reason it’s a favorite photo is because of the moment that was captured in this picture. It was Cody’s birthday and his younger brother, Nick, was helping him to read his birthday cards. Cody reads at a level way below his current grade level, but that doesn’t make him a retard.  He requires support in nearly every aspect of his daily life, but he should not be considered retarded because of that fact. He’s Nick’s big brother and Paul’s and my son and he is possibly the happiest person that I know. He can make us all smile with his contagious excitement over a plane flying overhead or the ridiculous joy he shows when a contestant wins on The Price is Right. He’s a boy who is most happy at home with his family with his laptop in front of him and a glass of water at his side. He sees the world as black and white and doesn’t get sarcasm and most definitely doesn’t have a mean bone in his body, so why anyone would look at him and even consider calling him a retard is heartbreaking to me. My wish is that the word never existed in the first place and my hope is that it would be erased from the minds of all human beings from this day forward. Regardless of a person’s ability (or lack thereof), their appearance, or quirky behavior, nobody has the right to call them something so hurtful and disrespectful. Their life is just as valuable as anyone else’s and they deserve to keep their dignity intact at all times. I hope you’ll join me and take the pledge to Spread the Word to End the Word.


  1. Undeniably true and very well said!!:)

  2. I want to print this out and make copies and send to my 2nd graders and my 5th graders’ classrooms!!!

    They get it. They do. They understand. But they don’t SEE it everyday, right? They need to FEEL on a visceral level what they are doing when they let hurtful words slip out.


  3. Such an excellent post. I only wish others could see our kids for the gift that they are, I think our kids have more to teach us than we do them.

    • I absolutely agree Jessica. While so much of parenting a child with special is difficult, it has also taught me more than I ever though possible. Thank you so much for the comment!

  4. I am reading your article really good write the article really the children need to have a good guide and the must is parents guide for a better life I read really good information out there. I thankful to you due to this article keep writing these type of articles. I checked the info best tattoo starter kit here is also a really good and full review guide out there so the children are diamond of parents so no parents want to lose the shine of the diamond. thanks once again.


  1. 21 Jump Street movie thinks making fun of autism is okay « cathy herard says:

    […] everyone he comes in contact with. Last week I wrote a post about something I feel strongly about, Spread the word to end the word – the R word. I’d love a world where that word didn’t exist and I’d love a world […]

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