If you are a parent of a child with a disability, you probably participate in a number of on-line discussion groups, email lists, etc. If so, then you probably have seen parents sign their emails with a list of their children’s diagnoses… often in the form of acronyms. With some of these kids’ complex medical conditions and learning disabilities, it can look like alphabet soup in the signature! In fact these many acronyms get to be so familiar – like our own little special needs language where vowels are rare but consonants abound… but I digress.
One parent recently shared a funny story… On one of these lists, some time ago, there was a parent who had three children. Two of her children had several dx (a.k.a. diagnoses) and one was what we call NT (a.k.a. neurotypical). So her signatures looked something like this:
“Beth, proud mom of:
Simon – ADHD, CHD, DS, NLD, DD, HI
and Jordan – HFA, SI, SLD, IBD, OCD”
(Which, BTW translates to “Beth is an amazing mom of Simon who has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Congenital Heart Disease, Downs Syndrome, Nonverbal Learning Disorder, Developmental Delay, and is Hearing Impaired and of Jordan, who has High Functioning Autism, Sensory Integration Dysfunction, Specific Learning Disability, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
To take it even further, some parents even include the acronyms of the various therapies and assistive devises they use to help their child, but I won’t give an example here since that would just be waaaayyy too much fun. So anyway, back to my story…
This mom of three had an NT son as well and so, one day, she included in her signature a fourth line that read “and Robert – JACK”
JACK? No one had ever heard of that one before. Was this some new exotic disease? The parents just had to ask her what this new diagnosis acronym was.
She responded that her NT son felt left out when he saw these signatures and wanted his name on the signature too. So she gave him her own diagnosis acronym: J. A. C. K. = Just a cute kid!!!
You can imagine the conversation that ensued in that discussion group. 🙂
To all those with JACKs and with the whole alphabet soup in their signatures – Peace to you all!!!