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Why are people so scared of "labeling" their kids

My son is autistic, he has a pretty mild form of it and most people are shocked when I tell them. However, when he was 2, I knew something was off and by the time he was 4, I knew he needed to see an Occupational Therapist. The only way to get into an OT, was to have a diagnosis done. So we moved forward with evaluations and he was diagnosed as "high functioning autistic".
My mom was upset and told me not to have him diagnosed because it would be on record for the rest of his life. I've heard a ton of other moms say things similar to that as well.
I don't understand because it's not like anyone ever really pulls your pediatric medical records as an adult. To me, I got the diagnosis so he could receive the services I knew he needed now. As he grows, he may not need any services, but the diagnosis he received at 4 isn't really going to haunt him forever.
What's your view?


Asked by CJM_SHM at 3:16 PM on Aug. 19, 2010 in Health

Level 15 (2,208 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (11)
  • I agree with what you did completely and if I had been in your shoes, I would have done the same thing. I would rather get my child help in every way imaginable than not do it and risk him/her suffering because I was too afraid of what someone else might think about me and my child.

    Answer by Mrs.BAT at 4:57 PM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • While autism is not our issue (genetic condition is) I get the same thing. Our OT wants to drop us because Ike just started walking (18 months). Um I'm sorry I don't think so. He's not just some kid slow to walk and she fixed him- he has a medical condition that causes low tone. My mom has a similar attitude. Look he did this, so he's fine now. I think when kids "appear" normal, people don't like to think that there is in fact a problem.

    Answer by karamille at 3:25 PM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • i've never had a problem with my son's moderately autistic label. Its what he has,it not a lie,so I see no reason why to try to hide the fact.

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 3:18 PM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • Well, for our sitution with my son he does NOT have a disorder such as Autism or ADD...but he was having a hard time catchign up to everyone else in the class from distractibilty. I wanted him to be in classes where he could get more individual attention...the school oficials discouraged me from doing so, saying it would put a label on Joshua throughout school.Meaning, he would have been in special ed classes and I remember when I was a kid and how the other kids picked on the "LD"(learning disabled children) in those classes. No, I did not want that to happen to my son but I also felt that no matter what, we need to educate him and if he was to be labeld, then so be it. They talked me out of it. He IS doing better in regular classes now.I think the school was just worried about the cost of running an IEP on him.Seriously.Its about money to them.I think schools make it a big issue for parents so we wont do it,they save money.

    Answer by kimberlyinberea at 3:26 PM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • because it IS on his permanent records and go to college with him and that may be good, but it could also be very very limiting.
    unfortunately, people have wrong ideas and wrong expectations, etc when they see these labels and sometimes it can hurt their chances in college and the adult world. and even in higher grades when they just don't expect much and therefore don;t try much with them.

    I am not saying getting labeled is bad all the time and it is often helpful, I am just telling you the views on why it sometimes can be a bit negative.
    My kids have s a few basic, needed labels, but I avoided a lot of labels they could also easily be stuck with. I just got the ones I needed to help me help them.

    Answer by Kiter at 3:27 PM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • If your son would like to go into the Military or the Coast Guard they will pull his entire medical records. Autism, ADHD and ADD are things that can keep a person from being able to join.

    Answer by Mommy2Gabrielle at 3:30 PM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • My son has a diagnosis of full autism not considered on the ASD scale. But my son is also very intelligent so in some situations no one can tell my son is different than any other kid. And I think people just need to learn there's nothing wrong with being autistic. It's just a different way to be. Everyone in my family is smart and my undiagnosed autistic brother who's 57 has 2 masters degrees in Chemistry and works for the government for 30 years. (has no friends though) My nephew with an autism diagnosis has a Mechanical Engineering degree and is employed. (won't join facebook though, ha ha) And I am very open about my son's autism because that's who and what he is. I tell him it's perfectly ok and fine to be autistic. And I can't imagine how he'd feel if I acted embarassed about it. What your mom may be thinking about are the old time prejudices that moms who had autistic kids just didn't know what we are doing.

    Answer by Cats3to2 at 3:31 PM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • It sounds like you may avoid labeling him Autistic. You use words like mild and high functioning. You want everyone to know he isn't that bad. People want their kids to be normal. Yes labels follow you. My son has bipolar disorder. He is an adult and can't buy life insurance or get a pilot's license.


    Answer by Gailll at 3:32 PM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • nope, I tell everyone my son is autistic....I was just being descriptive for you all to understand what I was saying. Obviously if he was non-verbal, there would be no way anyone could be upset with a diagnosis (at least I think there is no way). Also, in the world of autism, many parents put something before the word autism. It may be high-functioning, mild, non-functioning, non-verbal. Becuase it is a spectrum disorder, and every child is different with Autism, parents use it as a way to describe where on the spectrum their child is. Anyway, I realize that if he wants to join the military, it will be pulled, but that is really the only career he may not be able to do. Maybe by the time he is 18, so many people will be diagnosed as autistic, that it wont even be an issue with the military anymore.

    Comment by CJM_SHM (original poster) at 3:41 PM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • oh and "high functioning autistic" is the actual diagnosis from the dr. It says exactly that on his evaluation forms.

    Comment by CJM_SHM (original poster) at 3:43 PM on Aug. 19, 2010