February 24, 2014 § 3 Comments

I watched the video below today of Amiee Mullen and wow it inspired me on so many levels. I have seen her give a similar talk before(I actually believe it’s the extended version of this talk) and I was thinking about her ideas today and how they align with the idea of having to label our kids for special education.

I thoroughly understand why we have to label students, so that in the special education system there are standards. BUT I think it sucks that our children must be labeled as “disabled” in order to receive special education services. I think it’s horrible that children must fit into a category about how they are disabled whether it’s health, neurological, Autism etc.

Amiee Mullen in a different video discusses the definition of disabled through the use of synonyms. She discussed how she looked up synonyms for the word disabled and it floored her. I did the same here is what I found:

Synonyms: broken-down, confined, decrepit, disarmed, hamstrung, handicapped, helpless, hurt, incapable, infirm, laid-up, lame, maimed, out-of-action, out-of-commission, paralyzed, powerless, run-down, sidelined, stalled, weakened, worn-out, wounded, wrecked

Wow!!! Upsetting right?! I personally don’t see my daughter as any of these things, as a matter of fact, I see her as the total opposite – as discussed in the video below adversity has become her opportunity. She has learned to overcome her limitations where she can and build on her strengths, despite her public education and lack of those people who want to try to “fix what is broken”.

We need to remember our children are not disabled although the education system has labeled them this way. We need teachers to see that our child instead has opportunity to develop an ability to shine in a way that is “not standard” but likely more beautiful and worthwhile in the end than what is considered typical!

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§ 3 Responses to Labels

  • olive davis says:

    Once again “Wow” Right on! You should visit our school.

  • olive davis says:

    You are amazing. I totally agree with your post. We have to get a diagnosis to get resources that help our child. And with that comes the label. You win by getting resources and lose by getting a label. I would love to find a way or a word that would bypass labels and just enable people to see the child or person as a whole person who needs a little help in some ways. I had a lovely chat with my daughter’s principal today. She also spends an hour with her every day as her teacher. We discussed many things that I have mentioned on your blog and the future for Hillary is looking much better because of it. You played a part in that because of your post and it was your posts that gave me the courage to approach her and bring my concerns and fears to her. I think Hillary’s last few months in school are going to be better for her because of the discussion I had with her teacher. Thanks for your influence and your blog. Olive


  • Jen Golden says:

    And many of our kids, when they are old enough to know about “SPED” “IEP” “ADHD” “ASD” and so forth look up those labels, too. I wish more teachers were aware of the impact of their words. At the last IEP meeting my 17 yo son attended and each time the school psychologist referred (over and over) to his Asperger DISORDER I could see the pain in his face. Even when I politely corrected her (at our house we use the term “learning differences”) she persisted. Duh! Great essay though.

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