How sad it is that the “autism” label has hit the news related to school funding. This kind of label which is given out by a doctor should be treated like any other diagnosis–privately and with dignity. Whatever teaching, therapy, or enrichment is recommended is fair game, but the term “autism” is definitely not a word that should be shared with a young child or anyone besides the immediate family and anyone with whom they would like to discuss their situation.
While labels carry with them limitations, children carry with them individuality, hope, drive, and enormous amounts of energy that can be directed in joyful and positive ways.
Any child who we label as “autistic” has differing combinations of the problem and to different degrees. Each and every child, with or without a disability, is born into the world with his or her own unique set of abilities and challenges. It is those abilities and challenges that should be the focus of any and all talks about school funding.