- lisanna weston
Labels belong to products
We live in a world of labels. In this wonderful world of labels, people found the need to extend the concept of labeling to the labeling of children.
We see a hyper six year-old girl who refuses to sit down and decide that she MUST have ADHD. If a twelve-year-old boy prefers to sit behind his computer rather than playing with his friends, he must have a social anxiety disorder.
20 million children are labeled with "mental disorders" that are based solely on a checklist of behaviors. There are no brain scans, x-rays, genetic or blood tests that can prove they are mentally ill, yet these children are labeled for life.
I myself have been diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 15. The moment I stepped into a psychiatric clinic I was labeled with a disease. After successfully passing the ‘ADHD-test’, a doctor asked me which medication I preferred. When I answered not to want any medication she looked up. “Then why are you here?”
Ken Robinson explains in a movie on TED.com, how school affects the creativity of children. We tend to focus on their mistakes rather than their qualities. Doctors act very similar by labeling children too soon.
Why must we jump the proverbial gun and assume that any time a child behaves outside what we consider normal for our society that there is a problem that must be immediately addressed? Why do we focus on the negative, not on the positive?
I am now 23 years old. Although people doubted my decision of not taking any medicines, they quickly accepted me as who I am. Label or not, they learned to focus on my qualities and started to use my bursts of creativity for a good cause. Their acceptance has helped me in accepting myself, something no medicine could ever do.
I do strongly believe the labels I talk about are legitimate medical conditions. I just happen to think that doctors need to take a closer look at the child’s environment and qualities before putting a label on it and treat him/her as a product! What is your opinion?
Closing Statement from lisanna weston
Thank you for your Great comments. The children of today are not the same children as 50 years ago. Talents are arising, and more and more kids tend to grow up quicker, learn faster, and have higher IQ's. Labeling is what we do to them to make us feel safe, to have something to hold on to, to be able to control something that we do not understand. We shouldn't try to chain something that we can't set free in the future!