Shut up.

Lately, I’ve seen this picture all over FB. Numerous people have shared it and conversations have started about the disgusting use of “labels” that doctors and parents are so fond of these days. People have lamented about the generation of brats being raised by parents who are quick to throw out “But he’s autistic!” or “she had ADHD!” and how in their day, kids were allowed to be kids.
 
 

and also:

Guys. Guys. Please, for the love of everything that is holy:

 

SHUT. UP.

Yeah. I went there. I said that thing. I’m telling you, in the nicest, friendliest, most understanding way as possible here: Shut the holy hell up.

Look. I get it. I get that labels are a thing that makes people twitchy and those people always seem to operate in a typical world. I get that kids should allowed to be kids. Absolutely. I let mine run around in their underwear, drink chocolate milk and watch every horrible talking animal show on TV. I always cringed away fro Little Einstein toys because I was raising kids, not baby geniuses. I get it. I really do. There’s days I’m still in denial. There’s the truth of it. Bold and ugly and shameful. There’s days I look at my boy and I look at me and I think of our lives together and I’m convinced that this thing, this word, is a lie. It’s something made up. Picking a part little things that are perfectly normal and grouping them together and labeling him to file away neatly on a shelf. “He does this so he must be that.” I feel like an imposter. That I’m living a life of therapies we don’t need and diagnosis that aren’t necessary because he’s fine. Get it? Fine. 

And then something will happen. A child half his age will do something twice his skill level or he’ll look at a bike and I have to say, “No. You don’t know how to ride one yet” or he’ll lapse into a language that isn’t real and denial flees. I will know that I don’t have the luxury of hating labels and posting pictures that whine about the fact that we’re raising a bunch of entitled brats.

Because those labels? Those disorders you scoff at? Those are our golden tickets. Those labels mean the difference between my kid learning to ride a bike and him forever sitting on the sidelines watching other kids ride bikes when he doesn’t have the skills to. It means the difference in him forever parroting everything he hears, and him one day carrying on a full, typical conversation. It means him dressing himself and using a fork and opening a door and him learning to live. Those labels are everything. Ye of typical children probably don’t understand this and I get that. Once upon a time, I had the luxury of saying things like, “Back in my day, kids were allowed to be kids and we didn’t file them away neatly in little boxes.” Back in my day, kids like mine also slipped through the cracks, destined to live a life outside because they weren’t given this handy dandy little label that allowed them to get services they desperately needed in order to become thriving, productive members of society. That’s what those labels mean. That’s what they stand for. They stand for a future where my kid will stand beside your kid and no one will know the difference

So please, from one mom to another, one mom who depends on those labels and disorder names you hate, please, just shut up.

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