I have mixed emotions about labeling children. As a parent to a child with special needs, I know that sometimes a label is necessary.
I know first hand that when the wrong label is given to a child it is beyond frustrating.
I know that labels are necessary in order to provide the care and treatment a child needs.
I know what it’s like to feel relief to have one single word validate concerns you’ve had as a parent for years without anyone acknowledging your instincts.
And I know how a label can help you begin to walk down a path to treatment, management, and healing.
So there we had it.
An alphabet of acronyms to lead us on our way.
Those labels have allowed my son to get the help he needs. They’ve allowed me to research how I can be the mom he needs. They’ve educated me and given me direction.
Those labels have helped my son have a better understanding of himself and others.
A label might tell you you something about my child, but it could never tell you everything.
A label can’t tell you who my son really is.
It won’t tell you that he’s compassionate and kind.
He’s loving and helpful.
He’s respectful and diligent.
He’s a wonderful brother, son, grandson, and cousin.
He is a child of God with a heart for Jesus.
He works hard in school and amazes me with his intelligence.
He has an amazing sense of humor and can create a pun faster than anyone you know!
Words are powerful and sometimes labels suck.
Because we can’t pick and choose when we want to use them. As a special needs mom, I’ve needed labels.
But, labels don’t define my son.
They don’t define anyone, and we can never truly understand someone based on a label.