At the same time, I understand why there are labels. Labels are an informative way for professionals to narrow down what they should and should not do to help someone out. That being said, labels also become stereotypes with bad undertones. For instance when you hear about a teenager that has been labeled manic depressant and ADHD, what comes to your mind? Usually it is rebellious, moody and impulsive. But that is not always the case.
Since having my son labels have become stressful to me. Starting with preschool, they started to label him as a bully without truly working with him. if I would put him back in school, I feel that it would no longer be an issue because I was able to work with him where they were not able to due to multiple kids and time constraints. Why do we always fear what other people are thinking about our children? Why do we always second guess ourselves? Why do we want to ignore certain situations that make us have to put a label on our child?
I am trying really hard to not let those labels get to me but when at our last pediatrician visit the doctor said she thought wingnut might have a mild form of Asperger’s because he would not look her in the eyes; I got all offensive because that is all she said was the reason for the diagnosis. I know he looks me and others in the eye and he just was not doing it to her because she was trying to get him to do something he did not want to do. Needless to say, I went home and did some reasearch and felt like yeah he might have one or two symptoms but not enough to constitute being labeled as having Asperger’s syndrome. My husband also did reasearch at the same time and said he thought she was right. Why do labels not bother him? Maybe because he felt like he had the symptoms as well, I don’t know.
The next time this was brought up was at the speech therapist. The first session wingnut was wiggly but not bouncing off the walls. The second visit he was, maybe he was getting comfortable or the therapist was working him up with her own excitement, I don’t know. He also was doing his shutdown mode (covering his face, going limp and whining) when she was trying to get him to do something he did not want to do. All of these things made her stop her session to discuss with me that she thought he might have Asperger’s. She felt that her progress with him would be very slow, but if we started him with pediatric occupational therapy, things would speed up for her and wingnut. I get this, and that is why I will be asking for a referral from his doctor but at the same time, I felt like the labeling was making her give up. I could see her getting frustrated with wingnut during the session and was thinking to myself this is why we are homeschooling, only I, his mother, can have the patience to deal with him at this point in his life.
In conclusion, we will set him up with a pediatric OT, and see what comes of it. Sometimes, not always, but sometimes I wish I had a normal child. But then I am reminded of this.
The last paragraph in this article says pretty clearly how I feel about labels.