I personally don’t believe autism, asperger’s, SPD, ADHD, etc are “disorders”. I think they are brain differences which have positives and negatives, just like every other personality type. Just because it’s a fringe subset doesn’t mean it’s not in the range of normalcy. What kinds of “disorders” would certain historical figures be diagnosed with if they grew up nowadays? Albert Einstein, Vincent Van Gogh, Galileo Galilee…every rule breaker, innovative thinker, outcast, oppositionally defiant person. And what if they had been labeled so much that their spirit was squelched? Or ignored because they were considered mentally disabled? These high needs children and adults are gifts to humanity if they are allowed to flourish.
I’m so glad that I wasn’t labeled with SPD, ADHD, ODD, dyslexia, etc by my parents or teachers, as I’m sure I would be today. All the traits that make me who I am are not disorders or disabilities. They are my creativity, my unique perspective, my ability to switch quickly between tasks, my ability to blend flavors in cooking, my ability to smell impending electrical fire when a circuit overheats, my willingness to stand up for what I believe (even when it goes against the mainstream). If I had received extensive “therapy” as a kid, maybe I could tolerate light touches, maybe I could finish more of the projects I start, maybe I would be willing to do what everyone else does…but what would I have lost? No thank you, I’ll continue to learn to deal with my quirks and embrace that which makes me the unique individual I am.