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As a parent of a child (boy, 6 years old) with autism, I understand the desire to get rid of the labels and learn to treat our children, and everyone in our society, as human beings with important and unique things to offer.  However, I also recognize that my son has some very significant developmental delays that may make it nearly impossible to look after himself when he becomes an adult.  Having the label "autism"--however much it may be misused and abused by a small minority--allows us to learn from and connect with other families in similar situations, to get information on how best to help our son, and to learn about what his particular needs might be from those who may have helpful insights and experience.

Portland, OR (website for special-needs friendly local businesses)