A special needs parent's perspective on 'labels'

A special needs parent's perspective on 'labels'

(WWBT) - In an age where school shootings happen, many parents have been faced with a threat, and the terror that accompanies it, until their children are deemed safe.

It's a stressful, terrifying time period, and as you seek answers, you may come to the news.

RVA Parenting contributor Carissa Garabedian has a direct perspective. After a recent threat at a Richmond school, she had a perspective that was important to her to share with other parents.

"As the day progresses, again through social media, a post is made by someone that shared 'the individual has been arrested and has severe autism.' I lost it," Garabedian said. "I know the word 'severe' is one that everyone may use in a different way. I don't consider my son to be 'severe' as he is verbal, and I realize that is a gift. I can categorize him as 'severe' in the sense that he would walk away and hold a stranger's hand, think nothing of it and I could never see him again. But that's for another blog post for me to share.

"I am angered by the fact that many in the community would be so quick to share that information because they have no idea what is is like to be a special needs parent. They also have no idea, that for the most part, any child that has severe autism would in no way, shape or form be able to articulate the texts, messages and threats that were sent. These message had a clear plan with vulgar language and very thought out detail. A child with 'severe' autism would not possess the ability to formulate a plan in that capacity. I realize that there are some on the spectrum that may be able to do that, but they would not be 'severe.'"

Garabedian is the publisher of Know Different mother to a special needs child in Richmond. She also publishes the award-winning Macaroni Kid of Richmond.

You can read more about why she feels this way, and ask questions here.

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