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Your Stories

May 18, 2015 | North America: New York

Secretly Autistic

By Tina

Being secretly autistic and being called the r word is extremely hard and scaring. But having someone to support you and have your back through it can help so much.View Story ▼I have autism Pdd Nos which is a milder view of autism. I am a 16 year old girl in her sophomore year of high school, but no one knows I'm autistic besides my parents, brother, and girlfriend. I've lived my life hearing the r word, being called the r word, and accepting that I am the r word. I have recently realized that I am not the r word people describe me as. I have a developmental problem that makes me lack social skills. I have recently started to correct everyone who says it due to being sick of constantly hearing it and being called it. The r word is said around me so much that it hurts even when its said in a sentence like, "that banana looks *the r word*". Being secretly autistic and being called the r word is extremely hard and scaring. But having someone to support you and have your back through it can help so much.

About Tina:I'm an autistic 16 year old sophomore girl. I am also openly gay with homophobic parents. No one in my school knows I'm autistic but my girlfriend.
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May 18, 2015 | North America: New York

Niskayuna High School Pledges Respect

By Olivia Kim

Niskayuna HS students sign to pledge to Spread the Word to End the Word

This past wednesday, May 13th, members of Nisky Friends, a school club designed to unite students both with and without disabilities, held a station in their school's main hallway, where students could stop by to make their pledge!View Story ▼This past Wednesday, May 13th, members of Nisky Friends, a school club designed to unite students both with and without disabilities, held a station in their school's main hallway, where students could stop by to make their pledge! The banner was made by Niskayuna art students, and students were also able to pick up their "I Pledged!" sticker! Nisky Friends raised upwards of 300 pledges! NHS chooses RESPECT!

About Olivia Kim:Ever since I was young, I was taught to respect the unique qualities in every individual. I believe that my brother's intellectual disability does not define him as a person. This ones for you, Brian!
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May 12, 2015 | North America: Northern California

Why I don't use it.

By Amber z

A lot of my friends use this term. I make comments when they do like "what do you mean by that" or "that's hurtful why would you say that" a lot of my friends think it's funny. I speak out a lot. I ask my friends "would you say that in front of the special needs kids?" There answers are, of course, no.View Story ▼I am a 14 year old girl. I help with Special Olympics all the time. This is my third year of helping doing swim for Special Olympics. I also help out with other Special Olympics events. It makes me happy to see the big smiles on the athletes' faces. I'm in my 8th grade year. At school I work with the special-needs kids with one of my friends. A lot of my friends use this term. I make comments when they do like "what do you mean by that" or "that's hurtful why would you say that" a lot of my friends think it's funny. I speak out a lot. I ask my friends "would you say that in front of the special needs kids?" There answers are, of course, no. So I ask as a response "then why use it when they aren't around" but I have taken the pledge and I hope to get my friends to do the same thing.

About Amber z:I am 14 years old. I have many friends. I am a 8th grader at Adams middle school. I wish people would use that term.
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May 12, 2015 | North America: Southern California

Regrets

By Sami Turnbull

My son the advocate.

One of my goals as a parent is to teach my children to live life with no regrets. There are no do overs only second chances. I am taking my second chance and trying to make up for the lack of compassion and jokes I have made going all the way into my 20's. How many parents or family members heardView Story ▼One of my goals as a parent is to teach my children to live life with no regrets. There are no do-overs, only second chances. I am taking my second chance and trying to make up for the lack of compassion and jokes I have made going all the way into my 20's. How many parents or family members heard one of my jokes that had a friend, child, parent with special needs? I am sure I have hurt people by jokes I have made. How do I know? I have an 11-year-old daughter who is Intellectually Disabled and every time I hear the "Retarded" word used as a slur it rips my gut out. My daughter is better than what they are calling "retarded." Like I said, I could never redo what I have done in the past but I can make up for the future by teaching my children my mistakes and helping others understand the debt of the hurt it causes when used.

About Sami Turnbull:I am the mother to two beautiful children. My daughter, Emma, is 11 and was diagnosed as Intellectually Disabled about 3 years ago. My son, Tyler, is 10 and is Emma's biggest advocate.
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May 12, 2015 | North America: Missouri

The Power of the R-Word

By Taylor

In day to day life, using the r-word is something that you use without thought. By using it to describe an outfit, stranger, or friend I never knew how much I used the word until a peer came up to me and asked me a question. "Why do they call me names like retard? I don't understand."View Story ▼In day to day life, using the r-word is something that you use without thought. By using it to describe an outfit, stranger, or friend I never knew how much I used the word until a peer came up to me and asked me a question. "Why do they call me names like retard? I don't understand." Now let me tell you a little about her. This person was someone that everyone seemed to avoid or didn't talk to, but talked about. When I tell you that I felt so bad that I used that word to describe her, I felt SO bad! I didn't even know what to say. The feeling of her consulting in me when she could have gone to the teacher or family member is still beyond me. I could only say, "That is something beyond me, but I promise I'll get to the bottom of it." I did too. I thought about it all day, week, and still to today about why out of everyone, that she was picked on so much. Something made me so aware of this word that I had to share. This girl was different, and being different isn't retarded. Thank you.

About Taylor:I was brought to this website and cause by being a participate in pageants. The reigning queen has this cause as her platform, or something she promotes. I decided to take the pledge!!!
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Spread the Word 3.04.15

Our annual day of awareness was March 4. You can still take the pledge, and if you have a story to share, please do.

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We've Pledged!

  • My students and I pledge and support the elimination of the derogatory use of the r-word from everyday speech and promote the acceptance and inclusion of people with inte...

    ...

    Emily Tupi & Room 203

    Carnegie, Pennsylvania
    341 hours ago

  • I pledge to help those around me understand how hurtful the r-word is and ask them as many times as necessary not to use it anymore.

    Jamona Hehner

    Iberia, Missouri
    390 hours ago

  • As a principal and a mother of a child with intellectual disabilities, I pledge and support the elimination of the derogatory use of the r-word from everyday speech and p...

    ...

    Kenna Wilson

    Sanford, North Carolina
    416 hours ago

  • I pledge and support the elimination of the derogatory use of the r-word from everyday speech and promote the acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabil...

    ...

    Sheryl Rae Baker

    Lubbock, Texas
    1850 hours ago

  • My brother has Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome which makes it so he can't walk or talk. I have always hated the R-word. It is disrespectful and in no way a cool word to say. I ...

    ...

    Skylar

    American Fork, Utah
    1850 hours ago

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