... 'that singer sounds retarded'.
I asked him if he even knew that that meant and he said 'it means that he sounds dumb'. I explained to him that saying something 'is retarded' is a way of putting down someone and is especially a way of putting down someone who has a disability, which means he is putting down Noah. He then started crying as he realised it isn't a good thing to say.
After Noah was diagnosed with hydranencephaly I really noticed how often I hear the phrase 'you are retarded' or 'what a retard!' being used as way of putting down to someone else. It's particularly common for teenagers to say it to each other and I cringe every time I hear it, and I actually don't think they are really thinking about what they are saying when they actually say it, just like Harri this morning, and I don't believe they are necessarily meaning to put down people with disabilities either, but are just by saying it.
Aaron says at school he always hears kids say it to each other and he will pull them up and will say 'my son is actually retarded and I don't like hearing that', and they are straight away embarrased and apologise to him about it. I even hate the word 'retarded' even when it is used in context. Yes, Noah is retarded in his development, but I think because the phrase is used so often as a put down, that I hate using it at all. Instead I prefer to say 'Noah is disabled' or 'Noah has severe disabilities'.
Even though society is a lot more accepting of people with disabilities these days, there is still a long way to go before people with disabilities are really accepted and loved, the way that we love Noah.