Jack met with the developmental psychologist on Tuesday for a few hours. We have been noticing some hard-core aggression along with some other really disturbing “new habits” that have come up in the past few months (for example, he’s taken to not sleeping again, and he’s picked all the nails off his fingers and toes). It was time.

She is amazing.

The office is amazing.

They have an education advocate who comes in to introduce herself and she calls you to make sure you’re getting everything you should from the county (school wise). I nearly wept with joy.

After two hours of pouring our hearts out and her seeing Jack at his absolute worst, I felt like we were actually in the right place, with the right provider for Jack.

Yet we left with several more labels than we entered with.

I felt…hurt. Dejected. Like I had been run over by a truck.

As I drove home, I pondered all the times that I said, “Labels are for soup cans, not for my son!”

I was wrong. 

If you pick up a can of soup, and turn it over you learn all kinds of information. You can see how much sodium is inside, and how many calories there are per serving. You can read about serving suggestions, or find out the expiration date. Sometimes, you can even get a good recipe or two! If you peel the label off a candy bar, you get to the chocolate underneath—that’s the GOOD STUFF!

So, my son has labels. Lots of them. Some of them are really scary, and life-altering. I don’t want him to be overlooked on his shelf. I don’t want him to get forgotten in the “system!” He is more—look at his labels. Look hard. Because, underneath them, you will find a little boy with dimples that will melt your heart. You will see a child who has been both physically and emotionally wounded, but who doesn’t let that inhibit his ability to love.

Jack has cerebral palsy, a g-tube, dysphagia, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, PDD-NOS, SPD, anxiety disorder, Fetal alcohol/drug, OCD, and is probably bipolar.

But underneath those labels, I’ve got the good stuff.

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