I can give you a million reasons why use of the R-Word needs to stop but I’ll start with one for right now.

And his name is Lennon. You see in addition to being born with a rare genetic disorder he is also autistic which comes with a learning disability and borderline intellectually disabled.

And while he may have a few extra challenges to maneuver the world, I can tell you that he’s in some ways smarter and filled with more wisdom than you could imagine.

And you may think I am bias – and I probably am – but you can ask those that have met him that his matter of fact unfiltered ways and ability to talk in meme’s is anything but a disability.

To live in the moment and be present, to not worry about tomorrow or what has been is a challenge for a lot of people but not for him. He knows who is and what he’s about and we all can learn a thing or two.

And so you can see why am I an advocate for stopping the use of the R-Word but wait, there’s more!

The R-word is a form of hate speech that stands for “retard,” “retarded,” or other offensive words ending in “-tard.” While “mental retardation” was originally introduced as a medical term in 1961 for people with intellectual disabilities, in the decades since, the R-word has become an insult used all too commonly in everyday language. Those who use the R-word often do so with little regard for the pain it causes people with intellectual disabilities—and the exclusion it perpetuates in our society.

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About a year ago I was hanging out with a friend and he referred to himself as the r-word and my entire being shuttered and it’s never easy to bring up some of these topics and conversations but because he is my friend it was a lot easier.

And I know there are some people in this world who think it’s no big deal to use the r-word and I will tell you that language matters because we all want dignity and respect wether we have extra needs or not!

Why Use of the R-Word Needs to Stop

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