Labels aka Diagnoses

 ‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What’s Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.’

Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

What do all these labels mean and do we really need them? So many folks run from having their child “labeled” or diagnosed with anything still today. The stigma of a diagnosis is still so harsh. What those people do not understand yet and I hope to be a small part of helping change this is that we need those labels today for proper help, treatment and resources. I was told once if you don’t use the resources available that you qualify for then those programs will start disappearing, which negatively impacts those that are using them. What programs am I referring to? Well, IEP”S are and will always remain in place(I think). However, there are financial programs that grant out scholarships to the parents of those children that they are developed for.

We have received the Ohio Autism Scholarship for $20,000 for our daughter. We made the choice to pull her from public school on the basis that we thought a special autism school would be better for her. It may still be the right choice but I think not the school we picked. There are other’s out there we will have to visit to see if one of them may be the right fit for her. This scholarship pays for the special school but it also, gives us the choice to homeschool and use the money to receive the services from a list of providers to fulfill the IEP requirements. The list is extensive and as long as the treatment is on the IEP, then it’s covered. Thank heavens! It only took me 7 months to figure this out! I happen to also have a working relationship with the OT(occupational therapist) that works with her, so that means we were able to change the IEP to include self-esteem therapy and The Listening Program we have coveted since February of this year.

What does self-esteem therapy look like? Your guess is as good as mine but I get to make that up as I go. Yay for us! Big Win finally! I can make that into art and music therapy, swimming lessons with an autism specialist, and so much more! In a nutshell, all the programs I was drooling over when we moved here and couldn’t afford. Well, if I homeschool that 20 could go pretty far! So, what about labels and diagnoses am I trying to express, really? Don’t be afraid to get one to help your child. Do not let them fall through the cracks like I did and so many of us did when we were in grade school. When I was going through a lot of this, even if I had been diagnosed there was no help or money for help back then in the 70’s and 80’s.

Now, someone over the past decade or so has cared enough about our little ones to work very hard to create these programs and you can only access them with a proper medical diagnosis. If you are concerned and think that your child is not developing properly based on the general rules pediatricians follow, then by all means don’t hold back it is worth the mention to your child’s doctor. Early intervention is so very important but if you miss the mark for that be persistent  like I was. It pays off and your child gets help eventually. That there is a post all to its self, the road to a diagnosis or 3 was a long one. There were times I wasn’t sure I’d make it but I never gave up.

A last note on labels and diagnoses, remember that it is not the labels that make them up. They are more than the diagnoses given. That is what you are fighting for by getting them diagnosed. As parent’s it is our job to rescue them from the symptoms of their diagnoses. The only way to do that is to seek help and receive those “dreaded” labels.


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