What do we do or say to those that think ASD is something to fear?

Question

My 5 1/2 year old son was diagnosed with ASD by a neurologist over this spring. My in-laws were so upset that we had him tested. They insist that we "labeled" him and have now made his life hard. We feel that now he is getting the help that he needs and the label is not a "bad" thing. What do we do or say to those that think autism is something to fear?

Answer

The importance of getting a diagnosis for a child who truly has ASD (high-functioning autism) cannot be emphasized enough. If the issues that cause a child to behave strangely are unknown, parents can never get the child the help he needs and is entitled to. And someone with autism does need help!

ASD children and adults see the world from a different point of view. They think “normal” people speak in riddles. Their thoughts go something like this:
  • “How come they are not interested in details like me?”
  • “Why are relationships so complicated?”
  • “Why don’t people say what they mean?”
  • “Why use non-verbal signs like body language instead of just telling something like it is!”

Autistic children and adults think their world is more logical then ours. However, the majority of people do not have the disorder – so, how the majority “thinks” is considered normal. A child on the spectrum has to adjust to our “strange” way of relating to each other and our ways of communication. It’s very hard for an “Aspie” to adjust to something so far off from logic.

Parents and teachers need to understand and relate to the child's different way of thinking. In order to be able to do that, a diagnosis has to be made. If you don’t know what is wrong, how can you help or reach out?


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 COMMENTS:

•    Anonymous said…  Without the ASD label they're likely to get labelled a whole bunch of other things. At least the label gets them some tolerance and understanding.
•    Anonymous said… A label to me is 'shy' or 'naughty'. A diagnosis is worlds apart from that.I can't stand all the know it alls preaching about labels.my son has a diagnosis-get with the programme or not-its their choice.but i will not tolerate people arguing with me about whats happening with my son.no way,no how!
•    Anonymous said… Do they help support him and you? If not their opinions don't matter! There you go! You are welcome!
•    Anonymous said… Having that label get him valuable resources!
•    Anonymous said… Hope that in time your family will see that the diagnosis is actually an enabler for your child to obtain the support he needs.
•    Anonymous said… I don't say anything to ppl who just can't comprehend or are ignorant to the High Functioning Autism diagnosis. Even me when I first got the diagnosis from the doctor, I was in complete denial. I just knew something was off and didn't know why my son was different from the other kids I watched playing in preschool. Some ppl never really get it or even want to. It seems like The worst offenders are family members of this. Unless I have to I usually don't even tell ppl, I know some parents blurt it out any chance they get. lol but my son who's Now 13 started asking me around the age 10 to "just stop telling ppl his business" so I don't anymore, and usually If ppl stay ignorant of what Aspergers is I just stay away from those kind of ppl because I find they always have my son under a microscope looking for autism or they just need to know why he has that label and you have to convince them that it is what it is.
•    Anonymous said… I told mine...get on board and trust our parenting choices or get out of our way! No options, no commentary...nothing welcome from those who don't take the effort or time to educate yourself and be informed about what the diagnosis is and why it is important!
•    Anonymous said… I was trying to get my now 12 yo daughter test for years but her dad didn't feel it was necessary at 9 we had her tested for ADHD and came out with a HFA, ADHD and Anxiety/Depression and now I can get her help and allow her to be the best she can be and instead of wondering why she may be different or see things differently she is learning as am I how to work through it and it is not a label it will give her strength to know what to do...
•    Anonymous said… IMHO it is better to recognize and get the help needed at a young age, my x not until 53, my daughter 24, and other daughter 13...the earlier it is known the more we as parents can do it help guide them to a successful and healthy life.
•    Anonymous said… It all about education pass on this website and other resources, I have found this sites so helpful and is giving me understanding and able to plan a better future for my son.
•    Anonymous said… It took me until my son was 8 to have him diagnosed despite the school telling me he was autistic. He is so high functioning that I just didn't understand it. It took a relative of mine even longer and she has asked me "so when will he be over it?" UM, it's a lifelong personality. We help him along the way, but he isn't going to magically get better! He has actually deteriorated over the last few years as he developed serious OCD which we are still dealing with. He is now 12...and will be 13 in two months..puberty is setting in all kinds of new problems.
•    Anonymous said… It's not a label it is part of who he is. Nothing to be embarrassed about. My son has Autism along with another serious mental condition and without diagnosis he would never be able to function at school and get the help he needs. Real friends embrace and accept who they are. I am proud of my son.
•    Anonymous said… Just keep repeating "it's a diagnosis, not a label". It's a thing you need to know about and work with, like needing glasses, or insulin. Looking for it didn't make it happen it was already there. It's a generational thing. My parents didn't want me labelled so I went through with no dyslexia or joint hypermobility support and possibly ASD and ADHD like all of my kids. Diagnosis is better based on comparison of my experience and theirs.
•    Anonymous said… My MIL told me my son just needed more love. Another relative said religion would fix him. Neither was going to help without a diagnosis and the funding that comes with it.
•    Anonymous said… One of my friends said once, "Is being diabetic a label?" It might be, but its certainly no reason not to get tested and get appropriate help.
•    Anonymous said… Our whole family read the book everything about Asbergers . in it , it teaches you to celebrate the behaviors not grieve them .you son has a lot of growing to do . he will change and evolve . :)
•    Anonymous said… Sorry but your parents will have to learn that without this "label" your beautiful son will receive no resources! And will struggle with aspects of his life😧 without this "label" he'll be misunderstood all his life. It will also cause cause confusion and undoubtedly low self esteem for him. Hate "labels" too and I struggled with it at beginning but it's best for your child.
•    Anonymous said… Whether it's right or wrong to get them "tested and labelled"... ( incidentally my son was diagnosed 8 years ago after me pushing for something for years ).... The facts are that to access the help available you have to fit into a category.... It's just the way it is... Not labelling them and denying the child help is not going to be the right way forward...

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