Wow, I had a lot of great comments on the "autistic" label. Here are my thoughts...
Sherri said, "As for the puzzle pieces I'm not so excited about it. I'm still in awe about the ease of learning in one area... and something that to me should be very simple to grasp... is so very difficult. Yet, the difficult is easy. HUH??" I'm right there with you... How can literature be so hard and geometry so easy??? BTW Sherri where are you? I wanted to visit your blog and the link I have doesn't work anymore!!!
Anonymous asked, "If you had a child that you believed was on the outskirts of the spectrum, would you go ahead and get the label/diagnosis?"
I could answer this question, but Sherri (who's blog I love but can't find) gave an excellent response, "The label is necessary for services and IEP's in school's. The eldest actually has Non-verbal learning disorder.You can't get treatment, speech, OT, IEP's etc... without the label. And just b/c at a young age it doesn't matter... it will when they get older and social skills, behaviour, language etc become an issue."
Katherine said, "Shouldn't it be ok for someone to 'be autistic'? If not, the problem isn't the label, it's the stereotype. Changing the label doesn't fight the stereotype, it only reinforces it. "
Of course its OK for someone to be on the spectrum. The problem is when they are defined by it as if one word sums up who they are... For example, Dr. Temple Grandin is a Professor, Bovine expert, excellent speaker, and she has autism or is autistic. See the difference?
Jen said, "I know that his diagnosis "label" is in his best interests for school and in later years, but when we have good stretches it makes it really hard to label him. I almost feel like he's "cured" even though I know better than that. Those are the days I get caught off guard."
I still get caught off guard too...
Laa said, "I actually prefer to describe my son as "autistic" rather than say he "has autism". The former is just an adjective to describe him, the latter sounds like a disease to me. He doesn't "have" anything, that's just the way he is!"
Interesting look on things, I'm going to have to think about that for awhile... This may be fodder for another post...