Thursday, October 04, 2012

About Language

Joey went to see the eye doctor today. He's been struggling with reading, and we wanted to eliminate the kinds of issues Andy was facing. Cutting to the chase on that front, his eyes are perfect. Physically.

I picked him up early from school; the appointment was at two. He was thrilled. He's been having rough days, but today went very smoothly. Even so, he was glad to get out of school- hey, he is a ten-year-old, right? Who doesn't want to get out of school early? So off we went, with him chatting merrily down the road about Mario and Luigi and thwomps and...

"Mommy, do I have autism?"

Well, now, where did that come from?

"Yes, dear," I replied simply.

"I'm autistic," he said with a grin. "What is autism?"

So we chatted a while about what autism means- about thinking differently, and seeing the world in his own unique way, and how his is good at math and better at it than most of his friends, and yes, it makes him different and makes it more difficult for him to talk.

He seemed very happy with all of this, and you could see the little wheels turning in his head. We did not discuss the language of person-first or self-identity.

After a moment of quiet, he announced again, "I'm autistic!"

Then he returned to Mario Brothers. This time, he was telling me all about Buzzy Beetles;  subject he also cheerfully instructed everyone about at the eye clinic.

1 comment:

farmwifetwo said...

I won't let the eldest use the word "autism" to describe himself. See for me that means "disability" not difference. Autism isn't being good at math but a lack of social awareness, sensory issues, and repetitious behaviours... all which the V describes perfectly.

Therefore, since he has "quirks" but is not disabled, he isn't allowed to use the label. As I was told long ago "A label is to only get services". Yes, according to the IV he hits enough boxes, but according to the V he is "social communication disorder". Yes, without the dx we wouldn't be "passing for normal" now.... but that's not who he is.

Now, his brother has autism and we use the word to describe what is wrong. His brother - even with poor expressive language skills - hits all the criteria of the IV and V for autism. His brother is also disabled and will never live on his own.

Which is why I have little use for those that "pass for normal" and don't have disabilities that try to hijack the dx and make it a "way of being". I could have done that... back when the eldest was 6 the Dev Ped told me I probably have Aspergers... probably... but I'm not disabled and I will not use a label when I don't require one. Like the eldest, I can live with my quirks.