Why do people believe that parents of Autistic children or ADHD children want their child to be labled? I was reading another post on CafeMom asking about the rise in diagnosis and everyone kept commenting that these moms just want their kid to be diagnosed so that they don't have to parent. They had the opinion that it was a way to explain away bad behavior. I didn't comment on the post because the ignorance being posted was astounding but I was saddened that this is a prevalent opinion. My children were never diagnosed because of "bad behavior." My oldest has ADHD and two of my other children have Autism and ADHD. Never did a teacher come to me and say, "Your child is out of control. You should have him tested." My oldest son could not control himself and it was evident from a young age that he had impulse control issues, but not bad behavior. My two children with Autism were diagnosed because of signs of Autism (and anxiety for my older boy) but never bad behavior (other than tantrums for my older one and I don't consider that bad behavior because it was not just to get his way). I am a strict mother and I hold my children to high standards. I approach them all on their level but I expect a lot out of all of them, diagnosis or not. And lack of discipline has never been the reason for my children's behavior. I know I am taking it personally but I think it is very sad that there is this opinion out there at all.
I was told by my pediartrician not to have my 5 year old (now 6) tested because it was too early to label him. I had him tested against his advice. My opinion about the label is this; If I suspect my child has Autism and treat him that way and he does not, then I am doing harm. If I treat him as if he does not have Autism and he does, then I am doing him harm. Knowing that he has Autism has helped me to meet him where he is. I can decide whether he is just being stubborn or if the task is really too much for him. I don't "want" the labels on my children but the diagnosis is a tool I use to manage their education and their therapies so that they can grow up to be functioning adults. Without it, my son who is riddled with anxiety about school would never make it to middle school without a nervous breakdown. My son who has language delays and processing difficulties would not be one of the top kids in his Kindergarten class. I would not have known that "SnapWords" would help him get through sight words by appealing to the side of his brain that is most dominant when he is processing language.