Posted by E. on December 05, 1999

In Reply to: Useage of the word gifted posted by Kenneth Brandt on December 05, 1999

: I was in a conversation with my brother about the useage of the word gifted to refer to people who are mentally retarded. Has anyone ever heard of the word gifted used this way?

No, I haven't. But the use of the word "special" is used to refer to people with mental retardation. One of the functions of the state agency where I work is services for this group. A local newspaper used the term "retardates" in a headline and that started a discussion about terms for people that aren't average. Nobody would use the term "cancerite" for someone with cancer so why should we use the term "retardate." The basic idea is to consider these folks as individuals, as whole people, first. Put the person first then the condition. Example: a "person who uses a wheelchair" instead of "wheelchair-bound person," etc.