When I was writing The Kennedy Women, my multi-generational history of five generations of Kennedy women, I became close to Eunice Kennedy Shriver. Whenever I mentioned her sister Rosemary, Mrs. Shriver tensed up.
Using more neutral terminology to describe a person with intellectual disability, when they need to be described at all, is just one more way to respect them. Not the only way, of course; just one. An easy one.
Censorship has no place in democracy, but self-examination does. The larger goal behind "Spread the word to end the word" is not to replace the r-word with another equally stigmatizing phrase, but to increase inclusion for those who may speak, act or move differently.
Amelia Rivera is 3 years old. Born with Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome, doctors have told her parents that she will die in 6 months to a year without a kidney transplant. They also said that they would not perform that transplant.