Just give us a label already!

I remember when I got glasses when I was 8 years old. I walked outside and was amazed–the trees actually had leaves!
I could finally see. BiggerButton

Twenty (plus) years have passed since that day, and I need my glasses now more than ever.
Sometime I think about all the things I wouldn’t be able to do if I didn’t have my glasses.
I wouldn’t be able to drive, ever.
I wouldn’t be able to read without holding a book about 4 inches from my face.
I wouldn’t be able to cook safely.
I wouldn’t be able to clearly see my children’s smiles from across the kitchen table.
I wouldn’t be able to teach online…or in a classroom.
I wouldn’t be able to sew…or write…or do so many things I enjoy, love, and need to do.

The day the eye doctor said, “You’re nearsighted” was a life-changing moment–for the better.

This news didn’t make me nearsighted–my vision was already blurred and strained before the optometrist ever made a diagnosis.
But after I was labeled “Nearsighted,” then I was able to get glasses,  the prescription I needed to be able to live a full and complete life.

I’m not ashamed of people seeing my glasses. In fact, I think they’re pretty cute. 100_3469They are part of what makes me, me!
And my bad eyesight isn’t going anywhere. Barring any expensive and invasive surgery in the future, I will need glasses for the rest of my life.

At one time, I was terrified of applying any type of label to my son.

But once I started asking questions and seeking answers, I pretty much didn’t care one flip about labels.

But not everybody feels that way.

We had friends and loved ones who were concerned about labels for our son.
“Are you sure you want to do this?”
“You know they just slap labels on kids and then they are stuck with them for the rest of their lives!”
“Special education?”
“Once a child has a label, people only see them a certain way from then on.”

I know these concerns were born out of love, so I don’t fault those whose questions came from this place in their hearts.

But I got to the place where all I wanted was a label.

Please, someone, anyone…tell me how to help my child.

Without the label, we were just frustrated, in the dark…our vision was blurred.

A label wouldn’t make him struggle. He was already struggling.

A label simply gives a name to the problem.
And with a name, we could move forward, instead of being stuck.
We could apply a prescription, a solution, and help my son live a full and more complete life.

School was out for the summer.
But our Child Study was still in the 60 day time frame.
The results of the study would be revealed in a meeting on June 24.
I still had to wait.

I had a million questions but I knew that one answer would solve a lot of the problems for my son: I just wanted a label already.

Want to read the beginning of Benji’s Story? Click here!

Why are we so afraid of labels?
Have you ever been afraid of labels for yourself or your child?
How has getting a label helped bring clarity and insight into your child’s struggles and challenges?

2 Comments

  1. […] Day 1: You’re here! Welcome. Day 2: When your “normal is not Normal Day 3: Writing the Letter: Pressing for Testing Day 4: How I’m doing Write31Days + My Crazy Life Day 5: Yeah, it didn’t happen Day 6: The Pieces of SPD or How I learned to Hug my Son Day 7: The Day People Stared and I didn’t Care Day 8: The [un]Predictability of SPD: How we’ve learned to Plan for the Crash Day 9: Celebrate Benji and Micah! Day 10: Letting him hide in tiny spaces: Meeting the needs of your SPD child Day 11: Mom, I don’t have any friends: Social Challenges of SPD Day 12: What Getting an IEP really looks like Day 13: [Not] Handling Stress: The emotional toll of the IEP process Day 14: Mental Health Break Day 15: “If you think you’re going through something hard, it’s because you are” Day 16: Celebrate Benji the Bard! Day 17: The Twin Factor: A Special Relationship Day 18: [Not] Benji’s Story…BUT MENG MENU! Day 19: The Twin Factor: Why We Chose Separate Classes Day 20: The Twin Factor: Smarter, Better, and other Ugly Words Day 21: My Insane Week Day 22: The Twin Factor: An Impossible Decision Day 23: Failure, Comparison, and Choosing Joy Day 24: Just give us a label already! […]

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