Label: to classify, designate, or describe; a short word or phrase descriptive of a person, group or intellectual movement.
Diagnosis: the process of determining by examination or analysis the nature and circumstance of a diseased condition (I am not inferring that Autism is a disease); the answer or solution to a problematic situation.
A label can be positive or negative and is based on someone else's perception of another person or group of people. Labels are names or words such as stupid, smart, good, bad, fat, skinny, beautiful, ugly, geek, nerd, cool, jock, fast, slow, funny, serious, hard-working, or lazy. These words can hurt and wound or encourage and build up someone. A diagnosis, however, is different...it's neither positive or negative...it just is. Without a diagnosis, labels can define you and you may not rise above them. All you see is your inabilities and deficits. If you struggle in school and get poor grades, can't complete assignments, etc....you may be labeled dumb or lazy. But, if you get assessments and find you have a learning disability, you are now able to get the assistance you need and find freedom from the labels because you can improve and succeed.
In order to help your child succeed, it is imperative that you get that diagnosis. It is required to receive the right services and necessary for you to be a proper advocate for your childs needs. Just as the person who has all the symptoms of diabetes or heart disease needs the diagnosis to receive the treatments and medications to keep them healthy...so does your child who shows all the symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder. It's not scary or evil. It just is...and they need the supports to ensure they will be a success in life. So...don't be afraid of getting the testing your child needs...it's actually their first step to achieving all their potential.