Labeling Our Kids?

Avatar for Cmmelissa
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Registered: 11-13-2008
Labeling Our Kids?
3
Thu, 10-11-2012 - 12:48pm

I thought this was a very interesting piece from the Today Show, they are discussing whether it's helpful or detrimental to "label" your child with a disorder, here is a link to it if you would like to watch it: 

http://video.today.msnbc.msn.com/today/49372231#49372231

I've seen many times on this board that it's a relief to finally get that diagnosis, you now have a reason behind the behaviors.  I could personally relate to the one comment on the video that parents are relieved to be able to say that it's not the result of bad parenting.  On the other hand, they talked about how some parents feel there is a stigma by having the label;  they are worried that their kids will define themselves by the label instead of it just being one aspect of their life.  

What do you think about labels?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-03-2005
Thu, 01-10-2013 - 1:25pm

I have thought about this a lot lately.

I guess the "lable" is necessary to get the school services we need, but I make an effort not to talk about Autism in front of Zach.  He is very high functioning, and can get a bit lazy at times.  I don't want him to be able to use it as an excuse not to get his work done.  I am glad to discuss his diagnosis with adults when he is not around.  I don't use it as an excuse for bad behavior though.

 

Avatar for skystrider
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-14-1999
Thu, 10-11-2012 - 2:11pm

I would not do school without a label.  I tried that with my older kids.  It wasn't fair to anybody.  That label just keeps everyone who works with my child, on the same page about how he learns.  

Labels are a problem when people use them as a crutch.  I can sometimes slip into this.  I tend to want to avoid situations that I know will be hard for them, saying "he has asperger's, that's why he's under the table" instead of making him sit up with everyone else when we are out to eat.   I once heard a mother explain away her teenager's sexual assault on a younger child by saying "He has ADHD, so he can't control himself."  Some behaviors are just unacceptable, and even if it is harder for that child to avoid than it is for others, he still has to learn to do it.

I tell my kids that Asperger's just means they learn differently than other kids.  It may be much harder for them to do a writing assignment, but it's harder for other kids in the class to memorize all of the chemical elements for example.  Everyone has some things that are easy for them and other things they have to work harder at.  I've tried to give them grown up examples of people with Asperger's and dysgraphia who are successful, so they don't have a reason to think the label limits them in any way.

So far, I don't see this label causing any self esteem issues.  It's only made school sooo much easier than it was for their older siblings. I used to not like labels.  Now I love them.