The Dangers of Labeling a Child

Are there really dangers with labeling your child? This is a question that many parents ask themselves when searching for answers to a child that has learning and emotional challenges. I know I did when seeking help for my son when he was still an infant. The need to know conflicted with the uncertainty of what they might find. What kind of label would they be putting on my child? Could this be diagnosed as something that would affect him for the rest of his life? Unfortunately I knew, as most parents do, the only way to help him was to find the answer, no matter what the outcome. My son is now eleven years old with ADHD, a severe speech disability which classifies him as learning diasabled and the “most devestating label” of them all was tourettes syndrome. Believe it or not this is a label that will haunt many parents because of the effects this label has on your child. The saying that “Ignorance is bliss” is not always true because the fear of the unknown can have lasting consequences. This is what we have faced within the educational system because their lack of knowledge has put a “red flag” in his academic records. In my heart I know that they feel he will never succeed so “why” try. He is so far behind his peers academically because of their lack of interest. How does one open their eyes so that they see the child that is there? Instead of the tourette syndrome label. He is so willing to learn and frustrated that they aren’t even aware of him. So…Are there dangers in labeling a child? I say “YES” be very careful for the sake of your child. There are times now when I am not so sure we did the right thing in finding the answers to his sometimes odd behavior. The rocking back and forth, the humming, and standing on the tip of his toes are no longer apparent. He has outgrown most of the “tic’s” except for a few minor facial expressions when he becomes excited. Yet, will he ever outgrow the label? I wonder, in my heart I pray he will.