It Is Not About Labelling Your Child!
Every time I make a wish on a dandelion, I wish for my children to be healthy and happy. I’m sure this is no different to the wish of every other parent on this planet. They are our world and we would do anything for them.
When our child shows signs of being ‘different’ we often feel like our world is falling down around us. It is a feeling that only parents who have been through it can understand. You start off with denial. A teacher may comment on a few things that you shrug off and you tell yourself it is just a phase. A friend may notice that your child is behaving in a different way to hers. You tell yourself that their child is just boring and yours has more character. You know deep down that something isn’t quite right but you don’t want to admit it as if you do admit it, it becomes a reality.
It could be autism…………it could be tourettes………….it could be ADHD………..it could be OCD. …………….. It could be anything that is not considered the ‘normal’ behaviour of a child. But who is to say what is normal and what isn’t? More and more diagnoses are being made every single day. Is it that more cases are occurring or is it just that we understand more about such conditions these days and so are able to identify them sooner? I don’t know. I don’t think anybody really knows. But what I do know is that it is not about giving your child a ‘label’.
Having a condition such as tourettes or autism does not label your son or daughter. It does not define them. They are as special and as different to one another as snowflakes falling from the sky. They are your same beautiful son or daughter as they were yesterday. Yes, things will be tougher for them in some ways as they try to fit into this world which we have created where everyone is striving towards idealism. But who is to say that their way isn’t the right way? Without autism we wouldn’t have had some of the great people in our world who have made a difference for the better.
So yes, take your time to process what may be a new and scary experience for you but get the help that you need to help your child. By understanding whatever condition they may have you can help them to cope with it. If someone has a physical disability we don’t label them. We give them the help that they need to cope day to day. It is the same for a child who has a special need. And don’t read this as ‘special needs’. The term ‘special needs’ comes with a stigma that it shouldn’t have. In any other circumstance ‘special’ is a good thing is it not? So why think of it as a bad thing here? Your child is special. Don’t focus on the difficult times you may have. Focus on the things that make them great.
The only thing that will set your child back in life is other peoples ignorant views and their inability to think outside the box and realise that it is our differences that make us great. As long as we bring our children up secure in understanding why they may feel a certain way or act a certain way and let them know that this is ok, then we are succeeding in our role as parents. By educating yourself in what they are going through, you will be able to guide them through the parts of life that they may find more of a challenge than other children.
It breaks my heart when I hear of a parent who refuses to seek professional help for their child as they don’t want them ‘labelled’. If their child was sick, they would speak to a doctor. If their child was born with a physical disability they would get them whatever help they needed as they love them and want the best for them. Why should having a child with a condition such as autism or tourettes be any different? Your child is not a label. You child is a child. A child, who with your help, will grow up to be an amazing adult who achieves great things.