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Your Stories

December 04, 2017 | North America: Colorado

Why the R-word should not be used

By Aydin Valaski

Why the R-word should not be used Aydin Valaski, Photo Editor • November 28, 2017 • Leave a Comment Danborn Caitlin For many centuries, the R-word has been seen as a word to describe holding back or blockage, but now that we are in the 21st century, it has been brought to society’s attention thView Story ▼For many centuries, the R-word has been seen as a word to describe holding back or blockage, but now that we are in the 21st century, it has been brought to society’s attention that the R-word is an offensive and somewhat taboo word for many reasons.Maybe you do not know exactly what the R-word is or means. When I say “the R-word”, I am referring to the word “Retard.” To many, this word is not anything but a word, but to me, this word is very offensive; therefore I will only refer to it as the “R-word.”The R-word’s history dates all the way back to the 1400s and has been seen in print since the 1600s. Back then, this word was not seen as offensive. It described ‘slowing’ and ‘blockage.’ It actually was not until the 20th century that it was viewed as hate speech.Whether you’re using the R-word as a verb or adjective, it still carries a harmful feel for many people. By using this word it makes it seem like intellectual disabilities are equivalent to being dumb or stupid, which is the opposite of true. The way I see it, the small difference between people with and without mental disabilities is not dependent on whether they have less intelligence than the non-disabled.At A-West, there is a program called the “Sparkles” which is a spirit team dedicated to the kids with special needs at our school. I have been lucky enough to call myself a peer-coach to these amazing kids for the past couple months. My work with these kids is why the R-word affects me. I do not view these kids as mentally challenged; to me, they are students just like me.Though the R-word is offensive to me, I think it has an even more offensive repercussion on people directly affected by intellectual disabilities. This is because the word ignores individuality by giving one common word to describe people who are so diverse individually.

About Aydin Valaski:I am a peer-coach for our schools spirit team for the mentally challenged. I am also the photo editor of my schools newspaper. I combined both my passions to write this piece to inform about the Rword.
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December 01, 2017 |

Be Nice to People Like Me

By Andrei

I'm autistic and nobody treats me badly because I'm nice to other people. I strongly support ending the use of the "r-word".View Story ▼I'm autistic and nobody treats me badly because I'm nice to other people. I strongly support ending the use of the "r-word".

About Andrei:I'm am a boy with autism and my mom loves me very much and wants me to help others.
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December 01, 2017 | North America: Nevada

Why I Must Right My Wrongs

By Shawn McMurtry

I have a degree in special education but I have used the "r-word" before at home among family to refer to people without disabilities who are dangerously ignorant, IE drunk drivers and such. Not realizing the irony, I now see how I have slandered a community I advocate in the closest and most dearView Story ▼I have a degree in special education but I have used the "r-word" before at home among family to refer to people without disabilities who are dangerously ignorant, IE drunk drivers and such. Not realizing the irony, I now see how I have slandered a community I advocate in the closest and most dear company I have. This has been a bad habit and I intend to make up for it by advocating for banishing the "r-word" from my vocabulary and promoting it's extinction from all language including automotive ignition timing and scientific uses. I was in first grade when I first heard the "r-word". I was the new kid at and Elementary school in Pemberton British Columbia. They called me a Hippy Dippy child because I was from the Bay Area in California. A group of boys were trying to get a girl who had Downs Syndrome to kiss me. I didn't like the word they called her then and I am ashamed to ever have used it myself. Fortunately for me, I have a daughter who advocates! She hasn't given up on me. My Turn Now!!!

About Shawn McMurtry:I am a teacher, a husband of 26 years, and a parent of 2.
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December 01, 2017 | North America: Michigan

Taking a Friend with Autism to Prom

By Kendra Nora

Since I can remember I have had a friend with autism who I hold dear to my heart. We grew up as good friends. I never saw him as any different but of course many people did. I knew that his social life had to be hard. Junior year of high school he asked me to attend prom with him and I was overjoyedView Story ▼Since I can remember I have had a friend with autism who I hold dear to my heart. We grew up as good friends. I never saw him as any different but of course many people did. I knew that his social life had to be hard. Junior year of high school he asked me to attend prom with him and I was overjoyed. I took him to homecoming and prom that year. Not because I felt sorry for him but because he holds a special place in my heart and I wanted him to see how loved he truly is and to give him something special that he can always reflect on. He is an inspiration to me everyday and I wanted to thank him for that by taking him to prom. He ended up winning prom king and that was the icing to the cake! He brings up winning prom king all of the time now. It was beautiful. It angers me to see people treat him different.

About Kendra Nora:Daughter of a special education teacher and friend of person with autism.
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December 01, 2017 | North America: Wisconsin

Don't Say It!

By Madison

The R-Word is super hurtful. People need to understand that it does NOT mean "stupid." I hear people throwing the word around all the time. I go to a Christian high school and I would expect people to have more respect! I hope some day everyone will understand that the R-Word is very disrespectful aView Story ▼The R-Word is super hurtful. People need to understand that it does NOT mean "stupid." I hear people throwing the word around all the time. I go to a Christian high school and I would expect people to have more respect! I hope some day everyone will understand that the R-Word is very disrespectful and should never, ever be used as an insult.

About Madison:I have two low-functioning brothers with autism and a sister with Asperger Syndrome.
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