Discussing @Cazzypot’s Blog: Labels, are they always the answer?


As some of you will know I have started a new website to collate as many SEN posts as I can for our collective use. While reblogging this morning I happened upon @Cazzypot’s blog ‘Labels, are they always the answer?’ I read this with interest. She published it in March. I’ve no idea how I missed it but I did, and for that I’m sorry because I would have liked to join in a debate about it.

Here are my views. As a special school teacher I do not agree with labelling children. In my school it is inappropriate. None of our teachers pay any attention to labels. I believe that all children are different and should be treated as such. If we take a group and label them ADHD or ASD then we are taking away their right to individuality. We would be categorising them and in grave danger…

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4 thoughts on “Discussing @Cazzypot’s Blog: Labels, are they always the answer?

  1. labels are useful as a starting point- there are so many strategies and ideas out they can point you in the right direction when you initially meet a child and they can be useful when securing funding. But beyond that knowing the individual child is much more important ( in my opinion!)

      • Apologies in advance for the slight essay…..I’m a speech and language therapist by trade – worked in lots of settings, mainstream, special, resource provision – all ages – I agree completely that getting to know children and working out their strengths, needs, interests, what makes them tick…or not…is what makes the difference, without a doubt! However, there are times when it can be difficult to see beneath the surface to really work out what sits at the foundation of difficulties we see.
        The easiest, though not isolated, example is of children with specific language impairments – often what is seen is poor literacy, maybe poor behaviour, maybe low self esteem or limited social interaction – what sits underneath are specific and often complex language needs. These children often end up being labelled wrongly – as spld, besd, mld….An accurate label can help people understand the kinds of difficulties some children may have, so that intervention or support can be accurately targeted.

        Parents have often told me they want a label, something to investigate or help friends and family understand…

        Labels do also help at times to access services / funding…not great, but true

        I don’t think there is an easy answer – in a utopian world where children’s needs were understood, identified and supported we could throw labels out, but sadly I don’t think we’re quite there yet…

      • I completely agree with you actually. But that’s precisely why I personally ignore the label. Most behaviours I’ve seen stem from poor communication skills. I know a child who spits and throws things when he’s upset because he can’t express what’s upsetting him. Unless you take the time to get to know him you won’t know this. I had this explained to me by a wonderful speech & lang therapist. She taught me strategies to help him and I’m forever in her debt. She taught me his to help many children with behaviour difficulties. You make an important about communication which I haven’t added. I can see why you advocate the use of the label and I sympathise with it. Thanks for helping with the discussion.

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