Why I Wasn’t Afraid to Label My Son

Carrie Cariello

Dear Jack,

When you were about year old, we saw a bunch of doctors and specialists to try and figure out why you didn’t talk or point or look at us. And at that time, many people told us not to rush to give you a label.

“Be careful with a label, because it will be on all of his forms and medical records,” one man advised.

“It will follow him for the rest of his life,” another woman warned.

See Jack-a-boo, people don’t like labels. No one wants to be limited or boxed in or classified. They especially don’t want to be pigeon-holed, which actually has little to do with a bird and more to do with compartmentalizing people into teeny-tiny, mutually exclusive categories.

But at the tender age of 18 months, the doctor diagnosed you with autism spectrum disorder, and from that point forward, you were labeled.

Honestly?…

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