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    justinwilliams, Jessica D, Xtydell, lll, A WA parent
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    Joined: May 2013
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    If there is no label, then schools/teachers tend to see the weaknesses as laziness, oppositional behavior by the child, or whatever, (and penalize the child accordingly) rather than a disability that needs supports and remediation. So a child with dysgraphia, for instance, can improve if they are given assistance with writing, and they will need modifications in the classroom. Some good teachers recognize the disability without it being labeled, and offer assistance, but I think this is the exception rather than the norm and you need to work with each individual teacher and explain it to them, and hope that they comply with your suggestions. As more and more teachers become involved with the child, it's not exactly an ideal situation. With a 504/IEP/label, it's right there in black and white. Child has X, you need to do Y.

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    There have been a few recent posts addressing the pros and cons of labels (below), so I'll stay off my embrace-the-label soap box (especially since polarbear always says it better!). But to echo comments above, I can't resist adding that:

    1) DD8 has blossomed with her labels (dyslexia, ADHD-I) and targeted remediation. Her teachers recently could not say enough about her extraordinary new confidence, cheerfulness, willingness to try hard things and take on risk, and just general radically-improved attitude.

    2) Her school and teachers - who have always been lovely and supportive and have tried hard to help - nonetheless treat her quite differently now that they explicitly recognize disability and anxiety-driven behaviours, rather than seeing it as non-interest and oppositional behaviour. Now that they're trying to fix the right problem, she is far more willing to accept help. Suddenly, they can see how hard she is trying, and also how the stress of being unable was causing her to push people away when they're trying to help her. Also, her report card suddenly reads like dyslexia 101: a child who excels at understanding and oral contributions but struggles with reading and writing. Previous reports simply described a mediocre performer, missing both highs and lows - and really, missing the child entirely.

    giftedissues.davidsongifted.org/BB/ubbthreads.php/topics/208379/Re_What_to_share_with_DS_regar.html#Post208379

    giftedissues.davidsongifted.org/BB/ubbthreads.php/topics/210357/Re_Do_we_tell_DS7_he_is_dyslex.html#Post210357

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    Originally Posted by JonLaw
    Originally Posted by whereditgo
    Why do we have to label our children in order for them to get them the help they need.

    Because you are dealing with bureaucratic systems that need labels.

    That's pretty much it.

    Yup.


    You have three options when your differences leave you so far from normative experience that you cannot participate in certain life (or educational) activities the way that others without those difference can and do-- often without even thinking about the task much.

    1. Avoidance Change your environment or the tasks required of you-- limit yourself to mitigate the difference, in other words.

    2. Acceptance Accept that you will not be able to do the things that those around you are doing-- accept poor performance and access as your lot in life, and work as hard as you can to make up the difference on your own, without asking anyone for anything.

    3. Advocacy Seek ways to compensate or mitigate particular barriers within the normative environment so as to allow your access to be more similar to those who are normative-- usually this will involve some kind of formal or informal arrangement so that the method of the life activities in question may be modified somehow.


    Yes, everyone has quirks, limitations, and differences.

    Not everyone sees a clear need to use choice 3 for every one of them-- but sometimes that is a difference in how large the difference is, how important an activity is to an individual, etc.

    This gets to the heart of what constitutes "substantially limited" when determining whether or not a person is afforded protections under ADA, actually. Advocacy requires a label, because it's about rights, not largesse. Largesse is fickle when you're dealing with people. Rights are far less so.

    smile


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    There have been so many good answers in this thread, I have been hesitant to add more, but: a label is a description of a pattern of behavior. In the context of the original question, it is shorthand for a particular pattern of weaknesses which are known to be helped by certain types of accommodations. You could forego the label and let everyone who meets your child have to rediscover for himself or herself what those patterns and remediations are, but that's a slow and inefficient process full of frustration and try-and-fail. It directs people to the right paths to reduce or eliminate fails painful, time-wasting, and unnecessary fail cycles. The label keeps everyone from having to reinvent the wheel, or at least helps everyone in delivering new and better wheels.

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