We live in a society that puts labels on everything and everyone. These labels do not always define who that person is or what they are about. We tend to label others because we label ourselves. It appears to give us a feeling of belonging or not belonging.
This is an unjust action. When we label children we tell them that they can only go so far in society, education or the work force. We tell them that the world only sees them as having certain attributes to bring to the table. These labels can and do effect the way a child feels and understands who he may or may not be. It puts limitations on their ability to be successful in a sometimes cruel and unkind society.
Labels tend to define the outer person. They do not define the heart and soul of that person. When one is labeled it is like judging a book by the outside cover. I have read many books where the cover was not anything like the inside of the book. Had I not taken the time to open that book and look inside, I would have not learned from that book. The same with a child. We do not take the time to look inside that child’s soul to see what that child is made of. We assume that because the cover is flawed, the soul is flawed. We cheat our children in education because of this pre-conceived notion that just because the outside is not what we expect it to be, the inside is not either. How unjust we are, how bigoted we are, how narrow-minded we become. We cheat ourselves in the process, we cheat ourselves by not seeing what good this child can do and how much this child can contribute to the very society that judges him by putting a label on him. We all have flaws, we all have things that are different about us, however, if someone tries to fit us with a label, we refuse to accept it.
Yes, we have children with special needs, but in the big picture we all have special needs. The left handed person lives in a right handed world, most of us wear some type of eye wear in order to see better, some of us are shorter in height than the national standard says is average. Does this make us different? Yes, does it mean that we are to be labeled? Absolutely not. However, when we see a child that has Downs, who is physically challenged, has ADD or ADHD we automatically label them. We assume they can not learn more than we think they can learn. We refuse to take the time it takes to teach them on a level that they learn on. We believe they can only go so far.
When we do this we create a conditioned response, that being they believe they can only go so far. They believe they can not learn more than we think they can.
They do not learn that they are only limited by what they believe and what they understand. They need to learn that they have the ability to have higher expectations, higher goals and dreams.
We can do this by taking the labels and tossing them out the window. Accept these children as children, blank slates that need to be filled with as much knowledge as possible. Then when they have that knowledge – they can in turn make it wisdom by application. Then they can fly.