The "r" word has been taboo to me for decades. Not because of altruistic motives, just because once I was wise enough to understand it wasn't OK, I stopped using it. Now, when I hear the "r" word, I cringe, even more so than before.
For those of you who still utter that word, I implore you to find a new one. There's plenty of them out there, but for me, my "go to" word is, "silly." I know it may not drive the punch you're trying to get home, but try it. I will thank you. My son will thank you. And millions of others will thank you, too. (For those of you with other words, please post them on my wall, apparently it's needed.)
I actually had a conversation recently where someone said "that word". I finally had the nerve to speak up and say that it wasn't okay. Their rebuttal? "Well, it's just a term. Everyone uses it. It's not about your son. It's just what you say." This coming from a person who just spent an hour loving and doting on my child. My response, "But, it is. It is my son. It's his technical diagnosis." It was like talking to a brick wall.
I finally decided not to argue anymore (because I knew I was right), but to speak to them from my heart (an angry heart, but mine nonetheless) I just asked, simply, "It would be a gift to me and Trek, and all of us, if would remove it from your vocabulary. It's not that hard." It was only then that I saw a touch of sympathy.
So, this one is for all of you who think it's OK to demean another person with your callous choice of words. Just remember, those whom you degrade are some one and a part of some one's family. And if you still choose to use "that word", I guess you're "lucky" enough to not have someone close to you have a medical term like that attached to them.
Please have enough respect to spread the word to end the word. Not that it matters, but WE will judge YOU for anything less.