Rebecca Noble

Labels diminish and suffocate the human spirit

I knew something was wrong with my first child.  When he turned two, he was still unable to talk and he didn’t seem to understand anything being said.  He was also hyperactive and very difficult to keep track of.  Some family members assured me that boys simply take longer to develop, others were eager to diagnose him as ADHD, OCD, autistic, etc….My instincts told me that something was not quite right with him, however, I did not believe that he had some behavior disorder, and it was too early in his development to determine if he was truly autistic.  He was very challenging and I cried often, not knowing what to do.

I believe there is a reason for how a child acts and behaves, perhaps it is just personality, often there is an underlying cause waiting to be discovered and so the parent/caregiver must play detective.  We found out that our son was hearing and speech delayed as a result of undetected chronic ear infections and a hard, thick build up of wax that prevented his eardrum from vibrating.  He was put in a special preschool for speech therapy and many prayers were said on his behalf.  I studied nutrition and modified his diet to better support his nutritional needs.  Altering his food intake by eliminating highly allergenic foods helped to stop the chronic ear infections allowing his hearing to develop properly.  Today he is a happy, healthy, bright and fun-loving 1st grader.  It was challenging to go through years of behavior difficulties, but worth the struggle.I knew something was wrong with my first child.  When he turned two, he was still unable to talk and he didn’t seem to understand anything being said.  He was also hyperactive and very difficult to keep track of.  Some family members assured me that boys simply take longer to develop, others were eager to diagnose him as ADHD, OCD, autistic, etc….My instincts told me that something was not quite right with him, however, I did not believe that he had some behavior disorder, and it was too early in his development to determine if he was truly autistic.  He was very challenging and I cried often, not knowing what to do.

As they develop, children, adolescents, and teens will naturally go through growing pains that can be caused by a myriad of things like physical, mental, social, and familial stresses which can manifest through behavioral issues.  I believe that children deserve all of the love, support and resource options to ensure the best possible growing up experiences, and so they can meet the challenges they face without drugs or labels.  In my opinion, labeling a child is a negative approach to problems, but encouraging a struggling child can help them achieve greater and better things.  Labels diminish and suffocate the human spirit, suggesting to the child that they are less than they really are.  It is all too easy to give a child a drug to subdue undesirable behavior and less easy to look for root causes of behavior.  It is unfortunate that the only options available to parents in educational and medical resources are drugs.  A parent organization like ablechild can make great strides in offering alternatives to the current medical paradigm. And parents, by joining together, can make a powerful voice, and thus encourage change that will protect the future of our children

Rebecca Noble,  State of Arizona

Rebecca Noble lobbied and testified in support of  state legislation regarding a parent’s right to refuse psychiatric “medication”. 

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