Monday, 25 November 2013

Labeling as a concept evokes various reactions in Special Ed.
Different professionals have different points of view about labeling.
What should be understood is the goal of labeling.
Children may be described as dyslexic, ADHD, autistic, dyspraxic, etc. I feel that each one of these labels represent a cluster of symptoms or difficulties. If a person or a professional has a proper understanding of each of these conditions it is possible to set realistic educational goals and long term expectations.

It is no different from having a medical name for a group of symptoms such as typhoid, malaria etc. Treatment then becomes specific to the condition and the correct medication with the required dosage can be prescribed. The doctor's job is easier and any other health measures to be taken can also be suggested.

However, what should be clearly avoided is developing prejudices and stereotypes. Labeling should enhance empathy and acceptance rather than fear, ridicule or pessimism.

After all disability is something that can happen to any one.

Further any report must clearly state the diagnosis. This will help in obtaining any concessions that the individual is entitled to.

Children react in different ways to labeling. They need not always know the specific terms or technical words used in the reports. Parents and teachers should use their discretion and handle the situation with sensitivity. They should explain that the child is not responsible for his disability and that they are always available to him for any kind of support or help that he might require.  

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