This past summer I met with one of my former students who was diagnosed with what was then called PDD-NOS, an "umbrella term" for people who met some of the diagnostic criteria for autism but not all of them. This young man is now in his 20"s and a graduate of a well-respected university.
During our talk he brought up dating which he had not explored during college as he would have liked.
"𝘐𝘧 𝘐 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘐 𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘭 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮 𝘐 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘢𝘶𝘵𝘪𝘴𝘮?", he asked me.
"𝘠𝘰𝘶 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘧𝘺 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘧 𝘩𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘸𝘢𝘯𝘵. 𝘛𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘯𝘰 𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘰𝘳 𝘸𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘨 𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦. 𝘐'𝘷𝘦 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸𝘯 𝘱𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘢𝘨𝘦 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘧𝘺 𝘢𝘴 "𝘈𝘴𝘱𝘪𝘦" (a term for someone with Asperger's) 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘐 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘰𝘭𝘥 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘥𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘤𝘩𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘵 𝘶𝘱 𝘪𝘯 𝘴𝘰𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘭 𝘳𝘦𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘱𝘴 𝘶𝘯𝘭𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘧𝘦𝘦𝘭 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘪𝘵. 𝘓𝘰𝘰𝘬 𝘢𝘵 𝘩𝘰𝘸 𝘮𝘶𝘤𝘩 𝘺𝘰𝘶'𝘷𝘦 𝘢𝘤𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘪𝘴𝘩𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘦𝘵𝘸𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘥𝘶𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘤𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘨𝘦, 𝘥𝘳𝘪𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢 𝘧𝘶𝘭𝘭-𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦 𝘫𝘰𝘣. 𝘐 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘬 𝘪𝘵'𝘴 𝘧𝘢𝘪𝘳 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘢𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘢𝘶𝘵𝘪𝘴𝘮 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘯𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘭𝘪𝘮𝘪𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘰𝘳 𝘥𝘦𝘧𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘥 𝘺𝘰𝘶.
I have never believed in grouping all people with neurodevelopmental challenges together under one label. If I can be frank, I believe those terms are often used for marketing purposes. That is secondary to the fact that I think every person, regardless of their age has the right to define themselves how he/she chooses.
The language I use with kids is to say "your brain works with ADHD" (or Asperger's, autism, etc.) I use this terminology because I want kids to understand that diagnostic labels are a description of how their brain works. I believe that's the least pathologizing way to explain those labels. I don't use "sugarcoated" language and say things like ADHD is a "gift" or "superpower". I think those terms imply there's no learning that needs to be done and they're misleading.
Language is the way we make meaning of the world. Let your son or daughter decide what language they want to use rather than you labelling them.
👉𝗔𝗱𝗱 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘀𝗲𝗹𝗳 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗔𝗗𝗛𝗗 𝗗𝘂𝗱𝗲 𝗺𝗮𝗶𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗹𝗶𝘀𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗽𝗿𝗶𝗼𝗿𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗿𝗲𝗴𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘂𝗽𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘄𝗲𝗯𝗶𝗻𝗮𝗿𝘀 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗽𝗮𝗿𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀. 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗻𝗲𝘅𝘁 𝗼𝗻𝗲, 𝗥𝗮𝗶𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗚𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁 𝗗𝘂𝗱𝗲𝘀, 𝗶𝘀 𝗮 𝗯𝗲𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗶𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗺 𝘀𝗽𝗲𝗰𝗶𝗳𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗽𝗮𝗿𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗸𝗶𝗱𝘀 𝘄𝗵𝗼𝘀𝗲 𝗯𝗿𝗮𝗶𝗻𝘀 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗸 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗔𝗗𝗛𝗗: https://www.subscribepage.com/adhddude
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