Monday, 16 May 2011

What's in a Label? Is there MORE to the Picture?

There is some controversy as to whether a label is appropriate and to what extent it assists in the path and progress of a person through his life's journey. Let us take the diagnosis Autism as an example.

When you here this diagnosis, what do you think of? Do you have a set of symptoms or problems or difficulties in mind? Do you regard a person with autism as having any abilities or do you only think of difficulties and perhaps any retardation?

Did you know that there are different severities of Autism and hence different levels of function that a person can achieve.

Are you aware that someone with Autism, can in fact be very intelligent or have a hidden talent or gift. Are you aware that Occupational Therapy can assist the person with Autism to make sense of his world, to learn to gain sensory integration and appropriate motor skills and to use these hidden talents and skills for the good.

In the following youtube clip, you will see a certain talent that a man with Autism has. Some may consider an Autistic persons desire to draw and to attend to detail as obsessive. Take a look at how it can in truth be an asset and a source of pride for both the person and his family. 

The label Youtube gives for this is Living Camera. When you have completed watching the video, think of whether you agree with the "Living Camera", "Autism", "Special Needs"  or would you have a different label in mind or perhaps no label at all?

Next time you meet a person or hear of a given label, try to think past the label. Remember diagnoses are mostly given for the medical or rehabilitation team to have a guideline as to the appropriate group of techniques, goals and intervention required. However, if you are willing to search, you will ususally find some very special talent, gift or quality that is often hidden, just waiting to be discovered. A hidden treasure that helps to create a totally different picture of who the person as a whole really is.

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