About Me

I am the proud mother of 6 children. 5 of our children have autism. We do not feel our world has ended, but just begun. We do not chelate, intervene biochemically, give shots of any kind, practice ABA, etc. We treat them as we treat any humanbeing. We treat them with kindness and respect and expect the same from them. They are exceptional children.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

THE LABEL MAKER....

I was concerned after the shootings at Virginia Tech that the media would somehow blame the shooter by labeling him "autistic". Lo and behold, it happened.
After reading the shooter's families comments, I realized they "labeled" this young man a very long time ago. He never had the family support to make it in this world from the beginning of his existence.
Once we label a person, they then become what we have named them.

If I carried around a labelmaker, I could label every person I see. The only problem is, I would label them differently than you....

I see people differently than you see people. We all have our perceptions and they are all unique. I look in the mirror and see a totally different person than the one you look at. People with autistic children cannot even agree on the label of autism. Some call it PDD-NOS, some call it "mercury poisoning", some parent's have to add additional labels to their children's diagnosis of autism (such as autism with ADD, ADHD, OCD, whatever. That one really chaps me.

When my children were labeled "autistic", in no way did this change my view of these children. The label of autism just defined some of their behaviors, not who they will become in life.
The label of "autism" did not define them...being autistic does not make them any less amazing than they were before the label.

We need to get rid of the labels society has placed upon people. Once we rid ourselves with these labels, every person will be on the same playing ground. People will not become destined to be something they do not have to be. The world will have less to hate about people who are like them-unlabeled.

When I look at my children every morning, I do not see a label upon them. But, if I did, this would be what I would label them-if I carried around a labelmaker....

Caitlin-perfection
Deirdre-perfection
Erin-perfection
Meaghan-perfection
Patrick-perfection
Kiernan-perfection


4 comments:

M-j said...

That is really beautiful.
You are one of the few people that understand how badly I'd love to chuck the stinkin' labels. I know that in order to get OT/PT/SP right now I have no choice but to have those labels. And I know those labels may follow them for a long time.
The truth is that I use them as a tool. I don't allow them to define my kid.
Thanks for always having a good, postive outlook! We need more people like you on the planet!

abfh said...

Thomas Armstrong wrote an excellent essay in 2005 about how to get beyond the labels:

Special Education and the Concept of Neurodiversity

Rachel Byers said...

Thankyou so much for saying what the world needs to hear. We have a 13 yr old child with Asperger's, and he's such a blessing to us. He is the sweetest most loving kid in the world, but because he has a hard time socially and emotionally they just had to put a label on him. I have never agreed or accepted the label, as you said, all it means is he learns and see life differently. Unfortunately, we are almost forced to go along with the labeling so he can get the care he needs in school such as an I.E.P, etc. I have a VERY IMPORTANT QUESTION FOR YOU regarding my son and really need some advice. Would LOVE TO TALK TO YOU, please contact me at robstermon@hotmail.com. Thankyou and I look forward to hearing from you:)

MOTHER OF MANY said...

I have no idea what made my daughter the ways she is.It could have been any number of things but she is here now and the way that she is and we all love her as she is and are thrilled with her daily developments.