He’s not retarded, he’s my brother.

Dear man in the supermarket who called my brother a retard,
Retard, spaz, fucktard and sperg are just words. 

They are words which describe a person with disabilities. They are words that are insulting to those who have disabilities and to their loved ones who support them.  

These words are hurtful. 

My brother’s name is not “retard”, his name is Jack. But thanks for pointing out the fact that he is different. He’s very special actually. 

Yes, he struggles to read and write, and his conversational skills may not be that impressive, but at least he can make you feel happy when he flashes you a smile. Yes, he’ll never be able to drive a car, or get a job, but at least he puts effort into being the best person he can be. Yes, he’ll never marry or have children and he will always have 24/7 care, but at least he enjoys life and never complains. 

The day you decided to label my brother the R-word was the day I decided to feel sorry for you. I’m sorry, that you can’t celebrate individuality and I’m sorry that you are so ignorant to people’s feelings. It must have been a difficult day for you. Just like our day maybe?  I know you spotted Jack walking around with his fingers in his ears, he does that to drown out loud noises but now I’m beginning to think it’s maybe because he wants to drown out people like you. You also noticed Jack pulling strange facial features but at least their prettier than your aggressive frown. 

I don’t know if you have children or if you ever will, but one thing I do hope is that you have someone in your life who is just as special as Jack. Someone who opens your eyes and mind to the real world and to real problems. 

I hope you got home safely that day and recovered from the death stare I gave you down aisle 4. I also hope that you realised your R-word was unnecessary and hurtful. 

Jack is autistic and his disability has never been an issue. It’s just who he is. The only problem with his disability is having to deal with people like you. People who can’t accept those who are different. I hope you read this and realise that it is you who has the problem and maybe it is you with the serious mental disability!?


Stina & Jack x 

4 thoughts on “He’s not retarded, he’s my brother.

  1. Hi
    Just wanted to congratulate you for standing up for your brother,
    It’s a terrible thing to say about a young man just trying to live his life.
    God knows,it’s hard enough growing up without any disability so just think how hard it is growing up with a life long disability like autism. Good luck with the rest of your life jack and you have a great friend in your sister.
    Kind regards
    P.s I also have an autistic son and love him to bits

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well done Stina. I have just read the Daily Mail piece about you and jack and am very sorry you had to go through that. My wife and I are foster carers to 3 little boys (brothers) all with autistic traits, learning difficulties and cleft lip and palets. We live in a small village in Co Durham where the boys have been fully accepted into the school and community for who they are and their problems and fortunately have never had anyone be unkind to them or us. I’m sure/hope you realise that the idiot you encountered is not the norm, that people are curious, sometimes taken aback when they see/hear something different, they don’t always know how to react. Anyhow keep up the good job you are doing with Jack. Take care

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Excellent open letter. Well done for realizing that the bigot in the supermarket was the one with the real problem – his inability to accept difference. I am autistic and also branch secretary of West Norfolk’s National Autistic Society branch.


  4. Unfortunately there are always narrow minded idiots. Hopefully, Jack will not have noticed. He is very lucky to have a sister like you looking out for him. Please meet my Jack, also autistic, and has a wonderful sister, Jessica, who looks out for him.


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