Calling out Rahm Emanuel, for his use of the word, was expected. But the pitbull's lipstick prints on Rush Limbaugh's buns were unmistakably yours. A maverick would not have let him get away with using the "R" word, even if setting him straight caused some political discomfort.
If it is tough to answer questions from reporters about Trig, parenting a child with special needs, or about Down syndrome in general, get a mantra. Have a "statement" in your back pocket--hopefully one you have thought about carefully and believe with all your heart--to pull out when the topic is discussed. "All people with Down syndrome have worth and potential, just like everyone else" is one (completely non-partisan) possibility.
You are in the national spotlight. When the chance presents itself again, use that spotlight to help others understand the worth and potential of Trig, and of others with Ds. There are a whole lot of us out here advocating for people and families living with special needs, but we don't have millions waiting to hear what we have to say. You, though, have a unique opportunity to bring awareness to the masses. Use your voice for good.
To retard, historically, means "to slow, hold back, prevent or delay".
Mentally Retarded is a medical term which means "cognitively or intellectually delayed".
Retarded, in the medical world, has traditionally meant: "Occurring or developing later than desired or expected; delayed" or "slow in mental or emotional or physical development". But even the medical community is becoming much more sensitive to the derogatory usage of the term and is shifting to use cognitively delayed instead of mentally retarded because of the term's negative and hurtful connotations.
Today, the slang use of the words retarded and retard, are inappropriate and offensive--in any context. They are words used to demean, hurt and diminish, and are meant to suggest that something--or someone--is backwards, stupid, ridiculous, annoying, or worthless.