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The pros and cons of labels

On the one hand, I have always liked to simplify my life as much as possible. On the other hand, I have a dislike for the concept of labelling people, especially when these labels have been applied to me or to those who are close to me. I know, I’m a hypocrite. I use labels myself but then I don’t like it when they are applied to me. Funny, hey! I wonder if everyone is like that?
Anyway, I’ve been thinking a lot about labels over the last few days. I blogged a couple of days ago about facing my fears and googling “autism”. You see, Hubby and I have suspected for a little while now, that Master 2 may have this condition. Not to a huge extent, but I’m pretty positive that he is showing several of the symptoms. And this scares the hell out of me. You see, I know how impatient a person I am. And I know, that were I to have an autistic child, I would need boundless reserves of patience. I worry how others would treat him if he were labelled with the word ‘Autistic’ or ‘Aspergers’. I worry if I have enough strength to cope. Truth be told, I’m scared. Really scared. I’m scared of taking him to get an official diagnosis. I’m scared in case I find out that I was right. I’m scared of what may be involved in the management of an autistic child. And yet, when I look at him, I see the same little boy I’ve loved for almost 3 years. He hasn’t changed. But to suddenly apply a label to him and to his life will change that life drastically, for ever. Is this something I could really do? Is this something I should do? Which is best for him? Is this also what is best for me? For my family? Should we even come into this equation?
As a teacher, I know full well how the system is changed for the ascertained child. Again, is this something I want for my little boy? Will it help him more than it will harm him? Or won’t it be worth it, because it could just make it all worse? It certainly will make it all harder!
I guess, what it comes down to, is this: Are his symptoms severe enough, am I worried enough, to change his life so drastically? Or, would it be just best to let his life continue as it has been? What do I do? Where do I go from here? My mind is full of turmoil. And I’m not sure what my next move should be.
Maybe it would just be best to get the wheels in motion. To work out whether or not he does fit on the spectrum. What I really want – is to equip myself with strategies to manage his behaviour so that he understands how to fit in, socially. So that he learns to control his own behaviour, and understand what is, and what is not, appropriate. They say that early intervention is the best move. I wonder if they are right.
I guess, whichever course of action I choose to take, I’ve changed my opinion forever, on this whole idea of ‘labelling’.

2 replies on “The pros and cons of labels”

I know you would be able to cope. It may be hard, but I’m sure you will do fine.
When do you find out? Good luck!

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