Thursday, April 21, 2011

You can label me ticked off

Dear speech therapist who was so determined to slap a label on my son,

On Tuesday, I brought my 7-month old son to see you because he seemed to have some feeding issues. Within about 10 minutes of meeting him, you had decided that he has Sensory Integration Disorder.

Your basis for this diagnosis? First off, he didn't like it when you donned those bright blue gloves and started touching his face.

I'm guessing that to a baby, having your face touched by some crazy blue hands that belong to a complete stranger is the equivalent of someone I just met giving me a pap smear. Please... say hello, introduce yourself and shake my hand before sticking that speculum up my bajingo.

You were also concerned that he didn't like to have his face wiped. How about I hold YOU down in a chair and proceed to wipe a towel repeatedly over your mouth and see how happy it makes you.

What nailed it for you is when he refused to eat your jar of nasty, no-name carrots. Well crap... I can't say that I blame him. If you had told me, I could have brought him something halfway decent. Perhaps he's a bit of a food snob.

Isn't 7 months a little young to be labeling someone? And what of these labels, anyway? Why does everyone have to be something. Why can't my son just be an adorably quirky guy who doesn't like to eat some days? You're saying that anyone who doesn't fit the standard (read: boring) mold, must have something wrong with them. What a crock. Take me for example:

I don't like the feel of corduroy or velvet

I can't stand shirts with only one pocket.

Crowds bother me.

I don't like people I don't know standing too close to me.

High pitched noises are like nails on a blackboard to me. So are nails on a blackboard.

I hate the smell of fish, I think football is boring, and I abhor it when people pee on the toilet seat and don't clean up after themselves.

I also don't suffer fools.

Gee, if you were recommending 60-90 minute therapy sessions, 3 days a week for a baby that didn't want to be touched by you, I can only imagine that you would have me institutionalized.

You know what, despite my many issues... I turned out pretty okay. Without intensive therapy.

I respect that you went to school and received your degree in this, but my gut, mom-tuition, and bullshit detector trump those letters after your name any day.

Yours very sincerely (and quirkily),


Meri said...

My bull sh*t meter is going bazerk as well!

Everyone wants labels. But everyone is different and not everyone fits into a mold. I'm dealing with a bit of this with my littlest guy too. Proud of you for seeing the forced label as what it is...forced.

Brian from "D-Dad - Living with "D" on so many levels" said...

JoAnne, I would be sketch too. I myself am a Speech Pathologist, and i work primarily with children with Autism. The diagnosis of sensory integration disorder is a process, and usually collaborative. The "team" usually includes a speech, occupational, and physical therapist. There needs to be a full parent interview as well. The child's pediatrician should also be involved. It is not something that can be decided in ten minutes after meeting a child for the first time. I am actually a little pissed that an SLP would drop a bomb like that so flippantly. I would definitely seek a second opinion in this case. It is crap that you had to deal with that.

Denise aka Mom of Bean said...

Yep, I'm with you on calling 'BS' on that label. Keep trusting that mommy gut and do what your heart tells always serves you well from what I've read!! :)

Heidi / D-Tales said...

I can't imagine any kid liking her diagnostic process!!!

Unknown said...

UGH. That is unbelievable. NO.LABELS!!! I am glad you are skeptical and hopefully none of the "labels" seep into your consciousness to start nagging you with worry.

Love to you and the family.

NikDuck said...

That sounds so ridiculous! He is only 7 months! Some babies have not even started on baby food other than milk at that age, so seems quite reasonable for him to reject her nasty carrots. And the blue gloves on his face? That kind of makes me want to freak out too...reminds me of being at the Dentist when they have their gloved hands in your mouth...makes me gag every time. The Dentist is as bad as the Gyno for me. Trust your Mommy gut...we know best. Hang in there.

Amy said...

Well written!!!! I think we are a society of slap-happy-labelers. Geesh. Do we ned anything, really, other than our name? Of course we are all quirky. that's what makes it so great about d-i-v-e-r-s-i-t-y!!!

Let's start a movement of labelessness . . or "I like being naked! No label!"

Enjoy your baby. That's my 2 cents.

And, "bajingo"? That's a new one for me. Huh. I kind of like it. It has a cute sounds and could take a drum beat very well. SO much better than va-jay-jay. ::ugh::

Penny said...

Ugh. Labels. Our family knows them well. 'They' once told me my 2 1/2 year old daughter with autism would never read, write or talk. She is 14 now, in 8th grade and fully included and yes, she reads, writes and talks. So much for the label. Labels only get you services, beyond that, they are useless.
I am proud of you for standing up and trusting your mommy-gut Jo!

Lora said...

I don't blame you... I think thats a crock of shit.

I don't have much more than that.