Nurturing Our Sons & Daughters Series
The Danger of Labeling our Children:Watch What You Say About and In Front of Children and Youth:
In fact, Bruce Perry says, "in order for clinicians to get reimbursed, they have to label. Most secular counselors, doctors and therapist use medical labels, which have shown to have severe effects on people (Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman, 2007). Many people feel out-casted and can sometimes cause a person to become lazy by not wanting to take control of their life’s responsibilities.
Medical models usually consist of a lengthy list of classifications and emotional and behavioral issues are usually considered as mental illness in conjunction with physical illness (Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman, 2007). The medical model stems from an historical view that people with emotional and behavior issues were all demon-possessed.
Labeling: Labeling children or youth with labels such as "kids At Risk" "Trouble Youth" "Problem Kids" or "Bad Kids" to name a few has a negative affect and Using the positive labels helps to instill confidence, security and connect/belonging.This information is based on my experience of Behavior/Emotional observation, Interactions and Encounters with the youth in empowerment program for adolescent females, Working with children, Personal research via: Talking with friends and fellow –classmates (in psychology-social work-counseling class) who have been negatively affected by verbal abuse; and labeled by family members, Case studies, Society, Speaking with counseling professionals and school faculty, Textbooks and Scholastic and Peer Review articles and Research.
Labeling children and youth as being “Gifted” and “Talented” (Except in certain environments-Performing Arts) is not always the best practice as well and can have some negative affects to 'these kids' and other kid’s (those not considered or labeled as talented/gifted) perception of self in comparison to others. Some might consider using the term “At Hope” or "Differently-abled" instead of “At Risk” "Disabled" or “Troubled” or other ascribed medical labels attached to children and youth who may engage in risky behavior because of the above circumstances or who have learning disabilities or behavioral issues. Using the term “At Hope” for All children and youth avoids singling anyone out or in. Medical practitioners are slowly changing their references or medical jargon and terminology but certain medical terms are used for the benefit of billing and reimbursement.
Zastrow, K., & Ashman, N. (2007). Understanding human behavior and the social environment. (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Brooks/Cole.
Maia Szalavitz, a senior fellow at Stats.org, is co-author of "The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog and Other Stories From a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook" (Basic).
Relative Articles and Websites:
Roth, J., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (2000). What do adolescents need for healthy development?:
Implications for youth policy. Social Policy Report, 14(1), 1-19.
Labeling theory in juvenile delinquency: An evaluation: http://www.helium.com/items/596339-evaluating-labeling-theory-of-juvenile-delinquency/
The Washington Post: “Gifted? Austistic? Or Just Quirky? : As More Children Receive Diagnoses, Effects of These Labels Seem Mixed: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/23/AR2007022301785.html