I love them and I hate them. They can build. They can break. They can inspire people to want to know more. They can breed ignorance.
I know that people are usually hesitant to “label” their kids as being x or y or ab or gh. I understand why. They don’t want their children placed into boxes, they don’t want to expose their kids to stereotypes. They don’t want to feel like they are somehow placing “limits” on their kids.
I get it. I really do. It is part of my life every single day and it’s for this reason that I took forever to start talking about Child1’s diagnosis. It’s for this reason that even though I am not afraid to talk about it now, I am extremely selective about who I share it with and exactly how much I share. Quite honestly, I don’t want anyone to perceive my son to be “less than”.
Anyway. About the labels.
If it wasn’t for that label then I wouldn’t know that my child thinks differently, why he acts and reacts differently, that has a different learning style that is NOT given the time of day in a regular mainstream school. If it wasn’t for that label my son would still be in a school environment that simply wasn’t suitable for him. If it wasn’t for that label I wouldn’t have made the effort to learn about and to understand why he struggles with certain things that the average tween has under control and I would have assumed that he was just being unfocused and inattentive and hyperactive to irritate living daylights out of me.
So yes, the label does come in handy in certain instances.
And, as you know it can have an extreme opposite effect – I really don’t have to go into any detail about that.
Having said all of this, I am finally at a point where the label truly doesn’t bother me. I AM bothered by the fact that it bothers everyone else.
Because here’s the thing:
I KNOW the truth.
I KNOW who my son is.
I KNOW all about his brilliance and I believe in it 100%.
I KNOW that there is not a single label in the world that can define or limit the essence of who he is.
I KNOW that he is still the same beautiful boy who walked into a Drs room without a label and came out with the label.
I KNOW without a doubt that he is wonderfully and fearfully made.
I KNOW that he is mine.