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  • Writer's pictureErica Livingston

More than the Labels

Let me preface this by saying I am pro science and pro doctors. I fully understand why there are certain labels, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t ever overwhelming.

Do any of you special need parents ever feel completely overwhelmed with their child’s diagnosis? We are relocating very soon, so I have been filling out paperwork for my son so we can receive therapies when we move. I had honestly forgotten how much he was fully diagnosed with because the “main” diagnosis is autism. Finding his diagnosis report was a bit overwhelming for me, which completely took me by surprise. I never cried for him when diagnosed. I do not feel like it is a sad thing for him to be autistic. However, last night, it felt like so many people, particularly professionals, only see what’s “wrong” with my child. I absolutely understand their job and I know it’s not personal. On the other hand, though, as a parent, it can be very sad to see the labels that are slapped on your child for their shortcomings.

I wouldn’t change my son for the world. I think he is the most perfect little human to ever walk the Earth. His multiple labels do not change that. I only wish everyone could see what I see. I see a beautiful child that has absolutely no filter. He lives his life as authentically as humanly possible. When he needs space, he takes his space. When he needs comfort, he demands comfort. He does not sugarcoat his emotions. If anything, more of us should be like him. He may have many labels that are not considered positive, but they make him who he is. I only wish these labels weren’t the first thing many people see when they look at him.

I know many of you can relate. Having a special needs child really changes how a lot of us look at the world. I know there were times I felt bad for people who were different. Now, I feel bad for people who don’t know the love of a special needs child. Their love is just so pure and unedited. There really is something so wonderful about special needs. The labels can feel so isolating and limiting, but their lives are limitless. I hope more people can become more accepting and understand, and realize our children are more than their labels.

Here is a list of everything my child was diagnosed with. I am sharing because I’ve only ever really shared his autism diagnosis because that’s all most people really understand. However, there is a lot more to it. I’d love to hear about your kids as well! Please share!

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