Cooper is “Retarded”


Yep, you read that correctly.  Since my seven-year-old son’s IQ is below 70, he would’ve been classified, at least until September of 2013 when the Social Security Administration officially got rid of the term, as mentally retarded.  Cooper is a sweet, strong, innocent, awesome, amazing, wonderful child. He loves to dance, sit outside in the sunshine, and be around the people he loves. And, let’s be honest, you probably know a Cooper too. Advances in medicine have made it so that kids like Cooper are living longer and more normal lives. If you don’t know a child with down syndrome, cerebral palsy, severe autism, or, like Cooper, a random chromosome disorder that results in a global developmental delay, you are pretty rare.  

So the next time you want to call someone “retarded” or say that something is “retarded,” I want you to ask yourself this: “Is this like the Cooper that you know?”  And if the answer is “no,” you need to use a better, more correct term.  Get creative, people!  You can do better than “retarded!”  Here are some alternatives:

  • Dull
  • Dumb
  • Foolish
  • Futile
  • Ill-advised
  • Irrelevant
  • Laughable
  • Ludicrous
  • Naïve
  • Senseless
  • Shortsighted
  • Simple
  • Stupid
  • Trivial
  • Dummy
  • Loser
  • Rash
  • Thick
  • Unintelligent
  • Brainless
  • Dazed
  • Deficient
  • Dense
  • Dim
  • Doltish
  • Dopey
  • Gullible
  • Half-baked
  • Half-witted
  • Idiotic
  • Inane
  • Indiscreet
  • Meaningless
  • Mindless
  • Moronic
  • Nonsensical
  • Obtuse
  • Out-to-lunch
  • Pointless
  • Slow
  • Sluggish
  • Thick-headed
  • Unthinking
  • Witless

And then go to and sign the pledge to stop using that word!

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Crady is a native Memphian, but she left for twelve years only to return at the end of June 2016. She is wife to Brad, who is a pediatrician in the ER at LeBonheur. Together, they have three children: Cooper (August 2010), Semmes (March 2013), and Katherine Cobb (September 2016). Cooper has special needs, so she is constantly balancing being a special needs mom and a typical mom. She lives with her family in Central Gardens, where she spends her days wrangling children and trying to limit screen time. She loves vacations, book clubs, dinners with friends, and a hoppy IPA at the end of the day. She hates kids’ TV shows, people who park in handicap spots when they aren’t handicapped, and tomatoes.


  1. Love this! One of my amazing sons has Down syndrome and it is always top of mind for our family to help educate others on the reasons to stop using the ‘r’ word. Thank you for adding your voice!

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