Labeling: Children with Disabilities

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There are many things to take into account when labeling. That label could affect someone’s whole life. In culture today it is often said that labeling is often thought of in a negative light. However, labeling can be very helpful in some cases. Labeling students according to their disability can be detrimental or beneficial to that students’ life. Labeling is important to discuss, and too often ignored, according to The American Sociological Review “we believe it is premature to dismiss labeling and stigma as unimportant in the lives of mental patients.( Dohrenwend, 401)” The reasons why labeling is good for a student with a disability, outweigh the reasons labeling is detrimental. For the most part, labeling is a good thing when it comes to dealing with disabilities. A popular theory, called the Labeling Theory, “posits that people labeled mentally ill experience negative societal reactions. (Socall, 435.)” However, this theory has yielded results that demonstrate that labeling may not be all that bad. Labeling can lead to stereotyping and negatively affect social aspects of a person with mental retardation. However, it seems likely that stereotyping will happen with or without a label, unless the disability is hardly noticeable. Stereotyping can be a real problem for school aged children with disabilities. So it would seem that labeling would be a bad choice. However, labeling can also help children in school. A label can help a child receive financial support or help him/her enter into the special needs program of the school. Although stereotyping is a child can negatively affect the child, the admittance and aid provided because of the label outweigh the negative effects of stereotyping.

Many of the perks of labeling show themselves in the professional sphere. Labeling helps provide professional services for the people who are labeled with a disability. For example, special education teachers would be out of a job if not for labeling. Research is...
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