I have pledged before to help remove this word from everyday speech. It is a bit easier for me to try to do that. Some of you know about my daughter, Caroline. Caroline has Down syndrome. That is a genetic condition where she has three copies of the 21st chromosome. Clinically, she is mentally retarded.
Albert Pujols has a step-daughter with Down syndrome and he and his wife are very active in helping those with Down syndrome.
This is Caroline randomly posing for the camera about a month ago. This week she is getting ready for the state standardized tests. We're working on sight words and reading simple sentences. She can count to 100 by fives. She loves to color. She likes to watch Dora and Max & Ruby. She plays with her dolls and can kick my butt on some of the Wii games. She is in kindergarten, sharing time with her CDC and inclusion classes.
She is anything but retarded, in the casual (and callous) use of the word.
I've stepped up on this soapbox before. And I'll do it again. I'd encourage you to take the pledge at http://www.r-word.org.
I thank you. Caroline thanks you.