* Update – The page owner responded kindly, offering to remove or give him credit. I want his words, his message out there . . . I just don’t want someone claiming them as their own. Her response left me feeling a bit better about people, I suppose part of me was expecting the resistance or rudeness I have encountered trying to remove his work from other sites, one even selling his design as their own. She was very much the opposite and I am thankful for it . . .
My sweet friend, Kathie, sent me a link this afternoon referencing an image someone claimed to have created, a very familiar image to most anyone who knows us. It was among the first creations of what was to become Wilson Wisdom.
I realized this kid of mine had much to share with the world, a message of acceptance and understanding for the autistic community, so I started transcribing his words, sharing them wherever I could. We eventually began putting some of his insights and wisdoms on CafePress in hopes of spreading his message.
It worked. Labels Are For Soup Cans, Autism Is A Diagnosis, can be found in many places around the web, unfortunately, unless you type it into a search engine you wouldn’t know who said it. You can enter Wilson Wisdom or the Qwiet Muse with the word autism and you’ll find it though.
Hindsight is 20/20, cliché, but factual. We didn’t put his name, or Wilson Wisdom on some of those first little tidbits we shared with the world. Now, sadly, I have seen several used on websites, even some used for profit, without giving my son the credit he so very much deserves.
People who claim ownership for something clearly not their own should be ashamed . . . It’s sad, but an unfortunate reality.
At least we know his words are out there, hopefully touching and changing hearts and lives.
I shared the following in a previous blog post, I feel compelled to share his analogy once again.
I have yet to find a downside to what so many refer to as a label. It is, in fact, a diagnosis, something many tend to overlook. My oldest son will soon be twenty-five years old, he is most likely the wisest person I will ever be blessed to have known in this life. He lives his life on the autistic spectrum; he has a thing or two to say about labels . . .
“Labels are for soup cans, diagnoses are for people, but they both serve the same purpose. They tell you what is inside and how to properly prepare it. If you have five cans on a shelf and one does not have a label, you are going to use the four cans that are labeled first because you know what they are. You know if they will need certain ingredients or special preparation. Sometimes the can missing its label never gets used. You put new cans in front of it and it remains there. When you do finally look inside to see what it is, you’ll see that it was something you really wanted, but it’s too late to use it. It will never be what it was supposed to be.
Now instead of a soup can, imagine a child who is different from the others, but no one knows why. The child gets overlooked and ignored because no one knows what to do with him, how to teach him, how to prepare him for the future because the diagnosis, or label that should tell everyone how to do these things was never given to that child. So they remain in the background becoming more and more lost. When they get older and someone comes along and decides to find out what is going on inside that child, it’s too late. The education and the therapy they needed were never given to them and they will never be what they were supposed to be.”
When my son wrote this I was in awe at his insight, he was eighteen at the time. I know if I’d been afraid of that proverbial label, he would not have become the amazing young man he is. I was told he would never talk, never learn. I listen to him speak and I read the words he writes and I know I did the right thing for him. The one little word, autistic, on a simple piece of paper changed the course of his life for the better.
Two of my children require very specific labels if they are to get the services they need and deserve, both have been blessed with the gift of a proper diagnosis. One of my children faces many, many challenges. Before I had names for those challenges he was considered a problem child. He was thought to be rude, lazy and was accused of ignoring his teachers. They told me he didn’t want to learn. The truth was, he did want to learn, they just didn’t know how to teach him.
Children do not receive the occupational therapy, speech therapy and specialized education they may need simply because we ask for it. Even if all involved agree, services are still withheld for lack of a professional diagnosis. Call it a label; call it a diagnosis, in the end all that matters is your child. You want the best for them; you want their futures to be bright and filled with possibilities.
Many children never reach their full potential because society was too afraid to label them.
Wilson Wisdom can be found at http://www.cafepress.com/wilsonwisdom
Ignore what I said about using the poster on FB, I have used Wilson’s cafepress link instead, it comes up with a picture of the quote on a pendant – brilliant.
Wilson’s description of the benefits of labelling is brilliant – and no one can argue with an insight that has come directly from someone who lives with a label. After I came out of my career in journalism, I studied very hard to work with ‘outsider’ children in schools. I won’t take up space in your comments with a massive essay on my experience within ‘the system’ once I began working inside it, but, it was horrific. I worked with many autistic children from the ages of 7 to 18 and their stories were heart-breaking. NOT because of who THEY were but because of the sheer ignorance of their needs in those around them who were responsible for educating ALL children. I tried for seven years to advocate for children who needed a much wider understanding and less judgement and guess what, I got hounded out of the system by people more senior to me who only cared about money. Cost cuts have made things even worse for ‘outsider’ children in the UK. Your son is clearly one in a million. May I put Wilson’s poster on Facebook with a message please? I just want to help spread awareness of the quote’s truth author because copyright theft makes me really angry. And may I use it in a blog post too? Many thanks.
My 2 year olds doctor thinks he has autism, and his early intervention therapists said he does do a lot of things that are on the spectrum, so I have to take him to a specialist in a month. Im scared to death I really dont know much about it personaly and the internet doesnt help as far as the worry go’s.
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It sounds like you are already going in the right direction, so many kiddos do not get the early intervention you’re already providing him :o)
I know it can be scary, but you have to remember, he is still the same kid you have always adored, a diagnosis only gives you a path to follow, it doesn’t really change your destination.
The Internet can be a blessing or a curse, so much misinformation is out there. Autism is a difference, it isn’t a scary disease or something that will ruin your child’s life.
You learn to adapt, learn with your son, dream new dreams.
When my boys were little I was told they would never do the things they now do. There is no such thing as never unless you choose not to try.
Just trust in The Lord to do his will in your lives, lean on faith and keep living every day just as you have been.
You will have answers soon, then you begin to learn and accept and live, autism or not, your son is going to become exactly who he was meant to be.
I will adore him no matter what, he is my son so he is perfect, I just dont know what to expect and that is what scares me I suppose. But either way it wont change anything emotional.
It depends where he falls on the spectrum, some require certain interventions like occupational therapy, speech, etc., it sounds like you have a good team in place.
You can ask me anything, anytime. I’ve been an advocate for my own kids as well as working with many parents as they begin their journey with autism and other developmental/learning related issues.
I am always happy to listen or help where I can, you are a good momma, your little man was blessed :o)
He already has occupational therapy, speech therapy, and developmental therapy, I read that children with autism dont form emotional bonds with people, but donnie is very affectionate with me, he gives hugs and kisses and loves to cuddle. So im not sure if that means he doesnt have autism or if the place I read that was wrong. And thank you so much that means a lot, I do worry that maybe I am just doing something wrong.
My boys are very loving, affectionate, and empathetic. There are those on the low end of the spectrum that seem to lack these abilities to some degree, but it is certainly not a determining factor.
The spectrum is so vast, just like everyone else, those with autism are each unique individuals with different strengths and weaknesses.
What you are doing for him right now is exactly right, you are paving the way for so much future success. I am a huge, huge advocate for early intervention, you are right now taking the very steps I was taking 20+ years ago.
I still sometimes get the feeling I may be doing something wrong, moms are funny creatures in that sense, trust me, you are doing something right :o)
Okay well I really appreciate it, and now I will leave you alone so you can get some sleep, lol. Oh one more thing how are your plants doing did they perk up some?
They did! I am feeling quite optimistic :o) I hope your night is blessed . . .
Yes it is indeed blessed, thanks to you I am feeling much better. Hugs