Thursday, December 20, 2012


When my son was diagnosed with Autism, I cried. 

I knew that the diagnosis was coming, I had been waiting for it and fighting for it for over a year. What broke my heart, was the label.

We all get labelled. We ask new people we meet what they do, as if their career defines them. We label each other as the blonde, the laugh-er, the loud one, the short one, the funny one, the smart one. And now my son has been labelled; not as the funny guy or the fun one, not as the smart guy or the smiley one but the autistic one. While the label would make big gains in his life as far as funding for therapies would go it would also change his life in not-so-awesome ways.

We often label others for good reason, making associations between a name and a job, distinctive laugh, tv show etc. help us to remember facts about the people around us. But what happens when those labels are negative?

Yesterday, I posted about NASA mentoring students with disabilities. I just copied the title from the post I was linking to. I immediately felt shame because the word "disability" makes me feel queasy.

The prefix, "dis" means "not" or a "lack of".


As a parent, I often worry about self-fulfilling prophesy. I've spoke of it a lot this week in regards of a blog written by a woman who basically claimed her son will most likely become the next school shooter. She likened her son to boys who came before him and said I AM THEIR MOTHER. I feel that she is placing this entire world of negativity on her son and has lost any glimmer of hope. She's spending her life treating him as a criminal, eventually this boy may turn and say, "well this is what they expect of me, I might as well do it."

So back to disability.

I choose to look at my child in terms of what he CAN do and not what he cannot. I will not place limits (however invisible) on his potential. I will not allow his teachers to expect less output from him and I expect them to push him as hard as they would a "gifted" child. I will nurture and celebrate every gain, no matter how seemingly insignificant it may be to others. I will not compare him to other children instead, every day I will encourage him to be better than the day before.

Today I will celebrate that he can finally print his own name,
rather than being upset with his rogue graffiti efforts.


  1. Always important to celebrate their ABILITIES, not focus on their disabilities. Enjoy the holidays!

  2. What a GREAT attitude you have!!!!