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End the Word

The R-word is the word 'retard(ed)'. Why does it hurt? The R-word hurts because it is exclusive. It's offensive. It's derogatory.
Our campaign asks people to pledge to stop saying the R-word as a starting point toward creating more accepting attitudes and communities for all people.  Language affects attitudes and attitudes affect actions.  Pledge today to use respectful, people-first language.
Down syndrome is a genetic disorder or syndrome, it is not a disease. Stay informed, read literature, revise my paper in the form of educational articles on this site.

Preferred Language Guide (People First Language)




  • People with Down syndrome should always be referred to as people first. Instead of a Down syndrome child, it should be “a child with Down syndrome.” Also avoid “Down’s child” and describing the condition as “Down’s” as in “he has Down’s”.


  • People have Down syndrome; they do not suffer from it and are not afflicted by it.


  • Down vs Down’s – NDSS uses the preferred spelling, Down syndrome, rather than Down’s syndrome. While Down syndrome is listed in many dictionaries with both popular spellings (with or without an apostrophe s), the preferred usage in the U.S. is Down syndrome. This is because an apostrophe s connotes ownership or possession. Down syndrome is named for the English physician John Langdon Down, who characterized the condition, but did not have it.


  • While it is still clinically acceptable to say “mental retardation” you should use the more socially acceptable term “intellectual disability,” “developmentally delayed,” or “cognitive disability” as we as a community strongly condemns the use of the word “retarded”. Using the word is hurtful and suggests that people with disabilities are not competent.