Labels: What’s in a name?

In This Issue: We have a new SUBSCRIBER FREEBIE ready to download at the end of this newsletter. We also have an article about invisible disabilities. But first, you can take a look at an offer from our friends over at CTCMath.

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Labels: What’s in a name?

Aloha, y’all!

In The Four Loves, C. S. Lewis wrote, “Friendship…is born at the moment when one man says to another ‘What! You too? I thought that no one but myself…'” Oddly enough, realizing that someone has a disorder can happen in exactly the same way! Over the next few newsletters, I have a series lined up discussing invisible disabilities and why naming these issues–giving them A Label–can be helpful.

To begin this discussion, let’s just tackle the Big One right off, shall we? I’ve seen many articles written from the perspective that certain disorders don’t exist. I’m not pointing any fingers here: I’ve been guilty of thinking this way myself! It has been the prevailing thought in some circles over the years, so it’s an easy attitude to pick up, especially for those of us who grew up in a time before these “new” disorders were recognized and named. So we think to ourselves that we all have issues, right? Normal, after all, is just an average. An individual may be better than average in one area, below average in another, and exactly average somewhere else entirely. That doesn’t mean someone has a disorder, we conclude.

And maybe that child just needs more attention or more discipline. See, that’s an easy line of thought to fall into because sometimes, it’s actually true. But the existence of the occasional bad parenting example does not mean that disorders don’t exist, and this is where we do a serious disservice both to a child dealing with issues as well as the parent trying to help them. Neither of them deserve the additional stress of being judged for what they can’t help.

So let’s look at this logically. At heart, labels are nothing more than a classification system. Yes, we can all look at many traits of the disorders that have been named in recent decades and think, “I do that sometimes.” And of course, this is true because we’re all human, and humans do human things. Go figure.

But when an individual has a set of these traits that have been recognized as occurring together, and when these traits impair daily function–when their existence puts a person’s behavior or abilities outside the boundaries of what is considered normal–a person can be said to have a particular disorder. It’s really that simple, and when understood in this way, it becomes impossible to simply say, “That doesn’t really exist.”

Next time, I’ll discuss some reasons why it sometimes SEEMS that we have a sudden “epidemic” of disorders.

Mālama pono!

Kathy Jo
NOT an expert on disabilities, invisible or otherwise,
but known to have many opinions and a newsletter

New Freebie: Mat Lit Aesop

We had a lot of fun the last time we made a Mad Lit booklet, so we thought we’d try it with one of my favorites, Aesop’s fables. Learn or review basic grammar concepts while creating wacky versions of well-known and beloved fables. Download Mad Lit: Aesop.

New freebies are available for one month! We also have two permanent freebies. A Walk in the Park discusses our homeschool philosophy, and Daily Devotions for Kids includes four prayers for each day of the week to help children develop a habit of prayer.