Ever since we have ever known about autism there has always almost been a fear of a diagnosis, not necessarily the diagnosis itself but the ‘label’.
In the early days, I didn’t want to believe that my daughter had autism as I didn’t know what that meant for her and that scared me. After many appointments and difficult conversations, I allowed myself to recognise that yes, Zoe does have autism.
Many parents, myself included, who I have met have been concerned about their child having a label. That once they have a diagnosis they will no longer be seen as just a child, an individual, just someone with autism. It’s not because they necessarily think this but because they fear this is how the world will see their child.
But you know what, my daughter does have autism, and she will grow up knowing she has autism. It won’t be a label, it won’t define her but she will know. Why?!! Because I will do everything I can to make sure I raise a strong, confident, independent woman who is proud of who she is. I want her to be able to decide what she can and can’t do in life and nobody else.
We as parents have such a fear over ‘the label’ but I truly believe that as parents it is our role to make sure that our children know who they are, why we are all different and how bloody fantastic they are. What I’m trying to say is, autism is a diagnosis, just like any other medical condition. It is fact. It’s not a label. I believe that an autism diagnosis can only help someone understand who they are.
Let’s not fear the label and instead focus on changing the world’s view on what autism really is.
Natasha is a 28 year old mum to two girls, Zoe (5) and Lily (3). She is passionate about educating people on the subject of autism in the hope that Zoe can grow up to live in a more understanding, accepting world.
Natasha contributed this post as part of our guest post series from parents/carers who are members of the Joseph Spectrum Squad, parent/carer group on facebook.