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ADHD? Don’t Label Me! – Part 1 – Video

“I don’t want to label my child. It’s dehumanizing. It puts limits on her. It skews how people see her. A label reduces her to a set of symptoms or misbehaviours!”
Well, yes and no.
We don’t mind certain labels. Gifted. Pretty. Advanced for his age. Team Captain. Gold Medalist. We love those labels because… well, those are good things.
So perhaps we don’t want our child or ourselves, or anyone for that matter, to be labeled as ADHD or ADD because, well, because of what we think the label means. Perhaps our resistance and resentment says more about our own view than on what others will think.


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18 Responses to “ADHD? Don’t Label Me! – Part 1 – Video”

  1. karalianne says:

    Here’s a poem I wrote about labels and ADHD and disability in general.

  2. studioaaron says:

    I love the video, but the wife wanted me to let you know that you spelt “hamster” wrong….

  3. Peacock says:

    I will be showing this to my sister and her husband. Thank you.

  4. Rick says:

    Lakelly, my wife is very understanding. Or is now. But then, to be honest, there was a time when I figured this was overdiagnosed. I knew a lot about ADHD. In fact, I knew pretty much all I needed to know. Or so I thought. Then I got the facts and was kind of stunned at how little I really knew. And how much science had yet to figure out. I’ve mentioned this elsewhere, but at a Mental Health Charity event I was hosting, I heard an astounding statistic: ‘90% OF WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT THE HUMAN BRAIN HAS BEEN LEARNED SINCE 1995″
    The reason?
    Breakthroughs in brain imaging technology (Those big machines) and in ‘staining’ tissue samples. They can now stain different parts of the brain, (Neurons, Dendrites, etc..) different colours and get a much clearer view of what’s going on.

  5. LisaF says:

    I agree with the phrase ADD is an explanation, not an excuse. Getting a diagnosis (label) was like hearing the Halleleuia chorus playing in the background while all the puzzling and mystifying parts of life and past behaviours floated to the ground and fell into place in the puzzle that is me.

  6. lakelly says:

    Oh yeah, I LOVE YOU. I laughed so hard, that I believe my prodical son Joe, who is home tonight thinks I am blitzed…too too funny, too too real. I guess that is what is so appealing to me. How did you learn/decide on survival? You are great…wife not understanding? Hope not, but if so, give me a call.. Thank you guys for doing what i thought needed to be done. Don’t you feel you need a funny adhd survivor on your team? (then the wife can relax). I really just want to help get out the positive message of how special we are! If interested, contact me, if not, THANKS!

  7. Rick says:

    I am? Adorable? Blush!… Is that a label? Is adorable a label?

  8. EmmeAdd says:

    Rick, you are totally ADDORABLE!!!!!!

  9. mcfarlane says:

    Here are some documented labels Ontario teachers have given identified students. I was looking through New York Jets coach Rex Ryan’s book and the chapter about having dyslexia. While growing up in Ontario his teachers did not identify him as dyslexic but as “slow”. More current, in the 2010 fall issue of Education Forum, a magazine every high school teacher in Ontario receives, a teacher wrote an essay labeling any student who needed more assistance as a “have-not”. In my case, I would rather be identified as a person who has dyslexia than labelled slow or a have-not.
    All students are our future.
    Wayne (There are many things about me and I have dyslexia) McFarlane

  10. ChrisC says:

    It seems to me that the underlying problem with parents who are afraid to use a “label” is that they are just plain embarrassed. Believe me I understand that emotion… there used to be times I felt I had to apologise to other parents after a meltdown at a playdate, or suffering the wilting stares of sales staff after dragging my child out from the front window display of a clothing store where they were “talking” to the manikins. But then we were LUCKY to find that ADHD label. It meant that we could understand what and why our child behaved in certain ways. It meant we could learn to read the signs and redirect to avoid difficulties. In other words, it meant that we could explain it rather than be embarrassed about it. The crazy thing is that I suspect those parents you describe who are afraid to use the ADHD label have probably found other labels to cover their child’s behavior! Let’s just hope, for the kid’s sake, that those labels aren’t even more damaging than having ADHD!

  11. ellamama says:

    Right on! Amen, brother! This is what I’ve been trying to tell folks for a while, but you did it WAY better than I’ve been. (Of course, you’ve snazzy visuals.) In addition to this, I’m always trying to emphasize that, “ADHD/ADD is an explaination not an excuse.” I think you’ve covered that, too. My DH can’t bear it when I *describe* (N.B. not “label”) our daughter as ADD or ADHD. The furtherst he’ll go is, “She has traits associated with ADHD.” Riiiight. Like when your blood sugar is elevated you’ve “traits” of diabetes?!

  12. Deborah says:

    Perfect Rick and Totally, thanks!!! 🙂