When I Realized Labels can Enable my Children with Special Needs
Many parents are scared of "labels." So scared, they don't pursue a diagnosis for their child because of the fear their child will forever be defined by their diagnosis.
I understand this fear. I once shared it too.
There is a reason we did not initially share our daughter’s Asperger’s diagnosis with her, or with too many people around us. We were scared she would be defined by her diagnosis – forever limited by her label. In fact, I once wrote the following:
I am trying to remain positive and focus on what we can do next to help her, but I am worried about "the label." With our son, the label that came with the autism diagnosis was welcome; it helped us obtain funding and assistance for him that he needed. He clearly has special needs and I have never hidden them from his teachers, friends or family.
. . . . . .
I've since come to realize that a diagnosis, and the label that comes with it, should not be viewed in a negative way at all. Instead of defining someone and their abilities, I believe a label actually enables and empowers.
A label provides access to help, support and assistance. Without a diagnosis, people cannot receive funding to help meet the costs of care. They cannot apply for assistance at school. They cannot receive benefits they are rightfully entitled to. A label allows them to access the help and support they need.
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