Okay, I can see BOTH sides of the story on this one. But my opinion is still a little different.
I have an autistic son (aspergers type). To some people that see him when he is melting down he is just a "rotten brat" who needs better parents. To some people at other times he may seem to behave in a "retarded" manner.
My husband and I don't get upset about words like retarded or brat or whatever because WORDS ARE ONLY WORDS. [u] Words only have the power to affect us if we let them.
If we react to someone saying something like that as just a manner of speech, then he's going to also react poorly to it. Now, I'm not saying that we wouldn't say something if a person said something like that specifically for the purpose of being hateful. That's an entirely different story and I would sooooo open up a can of whoopass on 'em! BUT, there is a big, big difference in people that use those words as a manner of speech and people that use those words to be hateful.
We are all adults that can differentiate between the two, I'm quite sure. I love my little boy more than ANYTHING and will do anything, ANYTHING to protect him. But I also know that I need to choose my battles wisely or I won't have the enrgy (and neither will HE) to fight the battles that are worthwhile.