I'm not really sure how to explain spasms to people who haven't experienced them, but they're a little bit like cramp - muscles, usually leg ones in my case, clench so hard it hurts. I can't control them, no-one can, but they usually happen when I stand up after sitting down for a while. I'm used to it, so I can get past them, but I feel like I suffer enough just having them.
Don't get me wrong, I don't hate any book or show which uses that word on sight. Friends is one of my favourite programmes, despite Rachel calling herself a 'laundry spaz' in one episode. And I understand that authors and scriptwriters aren't trying to insult me or anyone else - I just think we need to share the knowledge that these words aren't okay. Maybe a character needs to be picked up on saying it, or apologise for it. Because the fact is that I've not experienced being called a spaz, but I know a lot of people aren't so lucky, and whenever someone says it near me, it feels like a punch to the stomach, even if they're talking about themselves. What makes me really sad is that some people use it without knowing the implications. That they hurt others without realising it.
Please don't endorse the word spaz, or spastic, or - while we're at it - any other discriminatory term in your work. I would be honoured if you used it and then picked up on it, maybe telling a character that's not okay, or even explaining to them what it means, but if you don't want to, don't. Just - please - use your weapon for good.
If anyone wants some more information about Cerebral Palsy or disability in general, check out the Scope website. Coincidentally, they used to be called The Spastic Society, but that changed when it became an insult.