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Literal Thinking is in my Bones: The Pros and Cons of Labels

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People are often resistant to labels. And I totally get it. There is particularly a lot of tragic stigma against labels on the autism spectrum.

I want to participate in the removal of the stigma of neurodiversity. I want all minds to be met with care, consideration, and dignity.

Another reason people resist labels is because they long for self-responsibility, a striving to gather whatever resources and support necessary for empowerment.

This second episode of Literal Thinking is in my Bones explains how the use of a label helped me understand myself better, and from that develop increased self-responsibility.

Take a look…

So, what do you think? In the comments below, I’d love to hear about any benefits or challenges you envision when using a label.

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Marielle Cammarata June 17, 2014, 4:25 pm

    Hi Bob,
    Here we are 3 years after you first suggested that E might have Asperger traits, and we are finally coming to terms with the truth of it. Jade introduced us to the sub-type (PDA – Pathological Demand Avoidance) and all the pieces fell together. For me, personally, it has been a huge relief to have and accept the “label.” Now we can advocate for E’s educational needs without appearing to be over involved, over cautious or over indulgent parents. We can instead be perceived as parents trying to get our child’s special needs met. As sad as it is, the label helps us legitimize our choices for her and for E’s needs. The label has also helped us have more compassion for E’s limits and more appreciation for her triumphs when she manages to do what other might consider “normal” for a kid her age (waking up earlier than usual to do something out of the routine, being alone in new situations, tolerating homework, dealing with being bored)

    For other families coming to terms with possibly having an Aspie girl, we love the You Tube posts by 9 year old Evie May about being a girl with Aspergers. It helped break our own prejudices about the label.

    Thanks for your post and for planting the seeds of understanding our kid.

    • byamtich June 18, 2014, 3:00 am

      Thanks Marielle!

      I’m so glad to hear from you, and I’m delighted the label has helped you understand your kiddo. I am inspired by the strategy to appreciate triumphs! I might be on the high end of that, already, but life presents so many moments to be flexible or creative or both.

      I checked out a couple of Evie May’s videos. The following from her video blog “Just a Girl with Asperger’s” stood out as a useful addition to this discussion: What Asperger’s Looks Like https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfmVNB9DqiU.

  • Nicole November 1, 2014, 11:17 pm

    I cried. The day I wrote that post on the group wall I was bawling. I’ve done a few tests prior to reading that article and all the tests have said I should be evaluated by a professional to be properly evaluated because I showed over a 85% of fitting this label. I just blew them off really. But then when I really started reading the characteristics of aspergers, the same day but before I read that broad article on aspie woman, it hit me so hard that I cried because it was so real and it made me upset. I’m married and the first thing I thought was, I’m a fraud. If my husband ever found out, I thought he’d laugh or blow it off. Like how do you break the news that your extreme social awkwardness that has caused even some marital stress could be in part of aspergers and not just you being extremely and awkwardly shy at times, like a lot of the time. and possibly I have passed this down genetically to our children. I know that sounds silly but these are real thoughts I’ve had. Because I really thought my social awkwardness was triggered by situations but then again I just don’t know. Then obviously reality hits and its like well my husband married me based off of who I am and he obviously likes most of my attributes or else he would have never have married me or had kids with me… and like you said in the video, some resist labels because of that internal and external stigma. I didn’t want it to be true. You’re right about self responsibility?. I really could have used this a week ago. Thank you. Thank you to you and Sara. All that you guys do has been so helpful. You two are like positive stepping stones in this life’s path.

    • byamtich November 1, 2014, 11:59 pm

      Wow, Nicole, you’re very welcome. I’m so inspired hearing how you approach so much self-reflection and self-understanding.

      I particularly like how “reality hitting” is a positive thing. There are so many attributes in a person and a relationship!

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