Few of us want labels to define us, unless of course the label is
- super star
Yet, even if we may like being thought of as extraordinary, there are times when it is very difficult to live up to the label. In recent years there have been several comedians who have ended their lives while still successful because the burden of being “funny” all the time. It took its toll.
Labels are often not of our choosing and even though there is an element of truth to the label, it does not reflect the whole picture. Our children or grandchildren may be singled out for testing to determine if they are eligible for certain services. These services are often very helpful and will give these children added support – they also come with a label.
Some parents hesitate to accept the services offered because they do not want a certain label to follow their child throughout their schooling – maybe even following them into adulthood.
My niece is one of those people. As a child Zoe was identified as ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. She was never a behavior problem, in fact she was just the opposite, a quiet, kind, thoughtful child. She just had trouble focusing in class.
To her parents credit, they did their homework and found the best course of treatment for their daughter. They also did not leave it all to the medication. They helped Zoe follow through on assigned tasks and helped her develop coping strategies to avoid the common concerns of people with ADHD.
Her parents were her BEST advocates, making sure that she got the services she needed, but not letting ADHD define her or become an excuse for not reaching her full potential.
Zoe could have numerous labels:
- Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from DePaul University in Chicago
- Journalism Major
- employed as WEB Content administrator at DePaul University
- beautiful young lady inside and out!
- courageous person with ADHD
Zoe has not let ADHD define her nor limit her dreams. She recently posted the following on Facebook which took real courage. (click on zoe)
Zoe is an inspiration to others with ADHD, and also to parents and grandparents of children identified with labels.
When reading Zoe’s essay, I was reminded of these Bible verses that have been such an encouragement to me.
Psalm 139:13-15 (NIV)
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
No matter what labels may be attached to ourselves, our children, or our grandchildren, God knew us from the beginning and He says we are wonderfully made.