I love a label. Chanel, Vivienne Westwood, Jimmy Choo… you get the picture. However I really dislike labels when they are used to describe people, and in particular my son.
So, he has Down’s Syndrome, and apparently that makes him need lots of labels. Disabled, special needs, additional needs, or ‘the boy with Down’s.’ I have had them all. And perhaps he is partly all of these things, but perhaps not. What I can say with certainty is that none of those label define him or even go a fraction of a way to describe who he is.
I know it’s too much to ask for the world not to label my son. One day I hope it won’t be, I long for that day because until then we are in a bit of a pickle (I would swear here but I’m trying to be polite.) My son might have something that is thought of as a disability but I don’t think of him like that. He might have special needs but I can tell you that most children I meet have some kind of special need. He might have additional needs which I think is just some wanky new way of saying ‘special needs’ while trying to be politically correct. Which somehow makes it even more annoying.
I am a parent. I love my child. My child is who he is. End of story.
Yes he has Down’s Syndrome. Yes it is a part of who he is and always will be, but the key is that it is a part, maybe a big part but it doesn’t describe him totally and it certainly doesn’t define him.
Just like everyone else, he is a whole person, who has many different parts. An extra Chromosome doesn’t change that. You see he is also his mother’s son, he is incredibly like my brother in character and the family likeness is clear on his face for all to see. He might be different from other 5yr olds but aren’t most 5yr olds different from each other?
For me it’s time to ditch the label and embrace differences as if they were the norm. Because guess what? They are.
The world is a big place there’s room for everyone. Well, OK there are exceptions to that but my exes aren’t the topic here.
Anyway, back to labels. There is only one label I want for my son, and that is Xavier Thomas Bleasdale, the’ label‘ he was given at birth.