Thursday, 6 March 2008

Why we need to label children

courtesy of google
Imagine you become a gardener and start to give each plant the same amount of water and sun. Most will survive and do well but some will do not well or even die. Than somebody gives you the name of that plant which is not doing well, and you look it up. You find out that this plant needs a whole different treatment. More sun or less water etc. The plant survives because of its label. Yes you say, that's all fine but when you give children a label it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. Oh, but does it not when they are labelled stupid, lazy or dumb because they can't do the things in the same way others do, because they learn differently? When we know how to accommodate these children and how to help them they are able to learn and live just like these special plants. Most children with learning disabilities have a gift as well. The are often lateral thinkers, more creative and intuitive. If you focus on how special they are they won't focus on their problems they become proud to wear their label. Some have already discovered these gifts and know how much there skills are needed . A dyslexic engineer told me once that they often prefer engineers who are dyslexic because they are visual thinkers and therefore good in what they do. Microsoft knows that some of their best people have Asperger. They provide health coverage for free therapy for children with autism. Good on ya Microsoft. May others follow, marja


  1. I agree with what you wrote here. It's difficult for the "educational system" to accommodate children who don't fit the normal. I know you have found a program that takes an interest in and understands different learning styles to work with the children.

  2. I agree.
    It is very depressing to label people when we all have our own strengths and weaknesses.
    I suppose people do it because it is convenient - so they don't really have to think about individuals.

  3. Marja, I always enjoy your thoughts and writings. You have such a kind a heart and you are a great writer. (((hugs)))

    Have a nice day today and take care!!! Stop by and see me some time.


  4. I did find the right school Brad I just want to put this in cyberspace for others to read. I get often googled about LD and so I can spread my messages.

    We all do have our strength and weaknesses elisabeth

    Thanks dear Missy I will stop by Hugs back

  5. I hear your message loud & clear. Who will live 'down' to a label? Or accept that they are 'less' when really, they are greater! It is very hard.
    I was recently shown an amazing Autism posting
    Check it out, you will be amazed, as I was.

    Thankyou for your award Marja. You have a heart of gold!

  6. I agree with what you wrote here!It´s a great post and so true!Thank you,Marja!

  7. It's the trap of the label that people fall into. Instead of letting them grow into the 'plant' they need to be, they use the label as an excuse of 'cants' instead of finding the gift. Every child has a gift, we just have to find it! When my eldest was dx'd with PDD, he was told he would never read, write, etc....Well, he can. I used the label to find out how he learns and what he can do. He has no signs of autism anymore. I wonder if he had it but even so, I wouldn't let the label 'stick him in the box'. The label was to help him grow and grow he did. He has tourette's (as do I) and APD (as do I) and now his hands (which I don't but that doesn't stop him. There is no such thing as cant in this family. You should write on special needs more often. You have a real love and it shows! We need more people like you.
    Ok, getting off my soapbox...

  8. We need to label kids cos if you come from a big family you need to know who is yours when ya go out looking for em!

  9. Thanks Meggie what a great link i posted it

    Thanks Stef

    I think some of the "signs" of autism are just symptoms of extreme anxiety, because of their overstimulation and sensitivity.
    What is APD Jen Asperger?

    Steve you are the funniest

  10. There's an interesting high incidence of autism spectrum in families who work in the Silicon Valley (microsoft types)..! Lots of research is being done with these families, which is why Microsoft is heavily involved.

    Labels can be effective in the right hands....they can help find the right way to support a person in their lives and in their learning. But, more importantly, we need to be cognizant of the beautiful human beings behind the labels and the beautiful families whom these individuals live with and are loved by.........they ALWAYS have to be in the driver's seat when it comes to intervention and treatment.

  11. Great article and your ideas are correct. Everyone with disabilities have some other gifts. It is the same with every handicap, they have capacities with other things.

    Als je bijvoorbeeld niet kan zien dan komt het frequent voor dat deze personen beter horen of zo.
    Als je slecht ziet door je linkeroog dan zie je vaak beter door je rechteroog dan de meeste mensen en zo zijn er zoveel voorbeelden.

    Mooi artikeltje en zeker correct.

  12. I know what you mean Dana but because schools are against labels we as parents had a constant fight to get help. I think it is time for an attitude change. You also can say that a person is deaf. With LD some neurological systems, auditory or visual don't work. Society came up with negative attitudes towards dyslexia asperger e.g. and that's why the label has to become positive. I learned that 1 in 30 students of the University population in chemistry, math and computerscience has asperger.
    I know about silicon valley. Bill Gates has asperger.
    But the danger there is that they marry each other and the children get worse.

    Thanks Erik


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