A mother’s perspective.Â
Maybe my son has ADHD – maybe not. Maybe my daughter has autism – maybe not. In a world whereÂ ‘labels’ canÂ offer some peace of mind, there is another perspective. This mother’s blog has a interesting perspective that we thought was worth sharing. Maybe labels only hold our children back. Just a thought. God loves our children more than we do – believe it or not! But He totally understands how our heart breaks for them, too. Be encouraged that God hears your prayers.
I see a lot of stories on here about autism spectrum disorder. I get it, I do. I know that if you have a child who is diagnosed you want to share their triumphs and tears and it helps to know youâ€™re not alone. But I have a feeling I am alone. So many people talk about their 2, 3 and 4-year-olds having autism. My son will be 4 next week. I donâ€™t know what he is. I know he has a speech delay. I know his fine and gross motor skills are excellent. I know his vocabulary is about 100 words, maximum. I know he swats at his sister when she snatches his toy and runs off with it. I know my son smiles, and laughs, cries and likes plastic animals. What I donâ€™t know is whether he has autism. Iâ€™ve thought about seeing a doctor, a specialist or someone in the school district to find out. Iâ€™ve discussed it at length with my husband, my mother, my sister, my friends. Iâ€™ve looked up information online, Iâ€™ve bought books, Iâ€™ve had one-on-one conversations with parents of children with autism.
I want my son to be 4. I donâ€™t want him to be labeled, and boxed, and to have every tiny movement be defined by a word or a diagnosis. I donâ€™t want to excuse his behavior or rejoice in it because we found out what makes Nolan just Nolan. Especially not this young. A diagnosis will be with him for the rest of his life; there is no rush for us to get a piece of paper with a word someone needs to hear to explain him. He gets services because of his delay. More services than he needsâ€" we scaled back his speech therapy because it wasnâ€™t working and forcing a 3-year-old to spend upwards of 6 hours a day on â€œacademicsâ€ is ridiculous. He needs to be able to be a child. He needs to be able to find his voice, even if heâ€™s not using words. He needs to know that mom and dad will let him find his own way without a pigeon-holed existence. It has its challenges. When people meet Nolan, and he acts more like heâ€™s 2 than 4, theyâ€™re confused. I say: he has a developmental delay, so he doesnâ€™t talk much. They donâ€™t get it. They stare at me, or stare at him, and wonder why he isnâ€™t like every other 4-year-old theyâ€™ve met. Its tricky, and its heartbreaking at times. But I know that simply defining Nolan for other people isnâ€™t whatâ€™s best of him or us. Iâ€™m proud of my son. Iâ€™m even proud of his impairments, because it shows heâ€™s thinking, heâ€™s evolving, heâ€™s finding ways to adapt in the world around him. I applaud all of you for your work with, and love for, your children. Letâ€™s step back for a moment sometimes and not let a diagnosis define them, but let them do that for themselves.