From a Mother’s Heart: Autism Is Just A Label

Inspirational stories from mothers parenting children with learning challenges.

IMG_2087You are wonderful!
You are powerful!
You are loved!
You are complete!
You are free to be who you really are!
You are not autism!
You are not cerebral palsy!
You are not Down syndrome!
You are not ADHD!

Autism, like every other diagnosis, is just a label.  It is not who your child is as a human being.  However parents, teachers, doctors and the child himself often identifies with the label as being “who” they are. You are not Down syndrome.

As adults we don’t even realize we are doing it, but constantly in conversations, we say, “My child is autistic.”  Then the child grows up going to multiple doctor’s appointments, specialists and therapists.  They grow up thinking, ‘I have to do this because I am broken.’

Our children are not broken.  They are complete, just as God made them. We need to speak words of GREATNESS into our children.  By speaking these words, we are growing seeds of GREATNESS.

I was working with a 25-year-old woman this past week and she said, I am unable to work because I am ADHD.  She didn’t say, “I have ADHD.” She said, “I am ADHD.” What a limiting belief about herself, to think she is incapable of holding down a job because of a label she received in 4th grade.

I was reminded how deep a label can be ingrained in to our children when working with a therapy tool called Mind-Fit.  This is an amazing device that works with bi-neural lights and sounds to help increase the Alpha-Theta brain waves for improved attention and learning.  It was developed by, Dr. Patrick Porter. The kids love it.  They immediately calm and focus within 2 minutes of putting on the glasses.  Dr. Porter developed a special series called the COB Autism Series.  There are 9 programs that focus on all the different areas of language processing and executive function such as memory, auditory processing, and expressive language.

The programs had worked great and it had been smooth sailing with all the kids, until program 6.  Dr. Porter didn’t mention to me that this program was any different than the rest of them. Program 6 is called the Theater Game and works on the child disassociating from their label. I plopped the on headphones, glasses, and turn on the program.  With in moments, the first child began to cry.  I stopped the program and wrote it off as being a bad day.  I went to the next child and the same thing happened.  All day, each child that listened to the program began to cry.  The last child of the day was the worst experience.  He was 17 years old.  Within minutes he began not just crying, but sobbing.  He left the session crying.  His dad texted me at 2am saying and Colin was still crying.

I contacted Dr. Porter for him to help me understand the connection to the very upset children. Dr. Porter explained that the program was telling the children that they are not their label, but their individual person.  All of these children being Autistic, had such a strong association to “being Autistic” that when they were told this is not who “they” are, they felt lost and insecure which led to the tears.

This experience made such an impression on me that ALL children need to be recognized for WHO they are as a person, not for their diagnosis, or the label that has been placed upon them.  We need to be very conscious of how we use labels in regards to children.  We need to make sure we are not seeing the child as the label.  Everyday make a conscious effort as a teacher, parent or doctor to speak words of greatness into the children you come in contact with.