One thing I've found over the years is that people are given a label, but not only are they given the label but also the matching box that they need to fit into.
On receiving a diagnosis that is the label and then on walking out of hospital a box is very quickly thrust at you and you need to fit into this box, certain traits /symptoms are now associated with you.
Picture a book...
Top of page is the diagnosis name then underneath a list of symptoms.
I see it all the time with depression, anxiety, OCD.
And what about ADHD!
I've seen parents afraid to share news of their child's diagnosis with others because the fear of the stereotyping and the box their child will be forced into.
Bad parenting is blamed regularly for that isn't it, we've all heard it from the uneducated.
Parents are too soft, stricter lifestyles will banish the ADHD. If only it was down to bad parenting it would certainly make things simpler.
So you get a bonus box for the parents too.
And autism. Now this is a little tricky as I've noticed two boxes here!
You have people on the high functioning end of the spectrum and to fit into the box pushed at them they are stereotyped as ' quirky ' very intelligent in one area, a ' gift ' I believe it's called.
Then you have people like my 9 year old son who is on the non verbal ,severe end of the spectrum.
So he's stereotyped as withdrawn, nothing to say, no sense of humour, weird, out of control meltdowns,' rocking in a corner' is an expression I heard once!
It's called a spectrum for a reason.
Now I'm going to take these boxes and stamp on them, throw them in the recycling where they belong.
My son does not go anywhere near a box.
He has proved there is no autism tick list.
Shown that there is no typical autism because he's individual, every autistic person is different just as every person walking this earth is different.
He laughs and smiles .
He may be non verbal but he has a lot to say, he speaks with his hands and his beautiful blue eyes. He's certainly not quiet.
I'm not saying life is all smiles. Autism regularly consumes him.
He has struggles everyday but we can't have sun and never the rain.
I've watched my son grow taller, I've marvelled at the odds he's defied. I've seen him in pain then get back up and carry on.
My son is a handsome, charming lad with a heart melting smile.
He will show affection and love just not in the typical way .
He enjoys watching trucks, mesmerised by them.
He likes art and splashing puddles.
He is a wonderful lad that just happens to be autistic.
Autism isn't him it's just part of him, the same as his learning difficulties and vision impairment, they tag along for the ride but it's not all he is.
People need to be seen as an individual, not a diagnosis to be put in the correct box.
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