Sprog-Labelling, The Latest Fashion
0 comment Monday, July 21, 2014 |
Due to autism being a rather invisible disability, and one that can appear to others to be just poor behaviour, it's a sticky wicket taking sprog anywhere. This weekend he's going to the zoo with the Ex, and the planning that goes into such an endeavour is considerable; a disability living allowance award letter so he gets in at the low rate, calling the zoo in advance and letting them know that a disabled child is coming and sometimes even giving a photo to the information desk in case sprog should get lost. Sprog is armed with an autism card, a medical ID bracelet, and Ex is even considering a T-shirt which says "autism" on it.
Now, there are huge opponents to this sort of "labelling"; the autistic-children-are-no-different-from-mainstream-children camp are appalled that anyone would stick a label onto their child, stamping them with a stigma tag. They believe it singles children out and makes the disability come before the child - in short, they want an autistic child to be able to "blend in". However, it's quite clear from the way my son zooms around and can often be rather violent that he is NOT going to blend in. Bang goes that theory.
And of course there's the other camp of people who either don't have children, or have mainstream children who think it's a boorish thing for someone to do, emblazoning "autism" all over your child, to get "sympathy" perhaps, or something of the sort. However these are quite often the very people who are aghast at an autistic child's behaviour and will say in whispers - which are actually said quite loud enough for you to hear - what an awful parent one is to allow one's child to act in such a way. Unfortunately, these are also the same people who will audibly whisper what an awful parent one is to slap labels all over your child.
The simple fact of the matter is if people were more compassionate and understanding - or at the very least would mind their own flipping business - the need for labelling would be moot. We wouldn't HAVE to make all these provisions just for our child to do something as simple as a trip to a zoo - something most families don't really think about - if people could just let us get on with it, give us help if we needed it, and do so without judgments. However, it would be unwise to hold one's breath in that regard.
So, in preparation for tomorrow's trip, I've prepared the necessary "autism tackle", ex is armed with a disabled toilet key, will be taking sprog in first thing as soon as the zoo opens when it will be relatively early and not so crowded (as crowds distress Sprog), information desks and security will be duly told about sproggo and ex will run himself absolutely ragged round the zoo...probably twice.
In the meantime, I have loads of provisions-shopping to do and a room to strip of wallpaper this weekend. Maybe I'll even manage to get out for a pint for once but let's not get too optimistic!