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The One-in-a-Million Boy
A richly layered novel of hearts broken seemingly beyond repair and then bound...
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"He's just who he is," Belle says, bristling against labels. Is Belle right? Does it matter?

Created: 04/16/17

Replies: 12

Posted Apr. 16, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1318

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"He's just who he is," Belle says, bristling against labels. Is Belle right? Does it matter?

"I have deficiencies," the boy tells Ona. Do you think he does? The author has said that she created the boy before the word "autism" or "Asperger's" entered the American lexicon. "He's just who he is," Belle says, bristling against labels. Is Belle right? Does it matter?


Posted Apr. 30, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janetp

Join Date: 08/16/11

Posts: 12

RE: "He's just who he is," Belle says, bristling against labels. Is Belle right? Does it matter?

I think we have too many labels in our culture. Yet, as a teacher, the labels autism and Aspergers gave me more understanding and heart towards some kids that are difficult to deal within a high school classroom of 30 . The other side of that is that if we lived in an ideal world, those classrooms wouldn't be made up of so many kids and a teacher would have more individual time to learn to deal with every quirk of each child. Quinn needed to understand what was wrong with "the boy" so he could begin to relate to him, Belle thought, "he's just who he is." The boy was probably better served in some ways by his mother's attitude but he did end up saying,"I have deficiencies" to Ona. He learned that description of himself someplace didn't he! So would he have been better served by a mother who got a diagnosis and became his advocate...it's hard to say.


Posted May. 03, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
stabs

Join Date: 07/13/16

Posts: 14

RE: "He's just who he is," Belle says, bristling against labels. Is Belle right? Does it matter?

Everyone is just who they are. I don't think it matters much unless a particular diagnosis actually helps by guiding some treatment that you find HELPS you, or perhaps helping others understand and accept you.


Posted May. 03, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
MarieA

Join Date: 10/12/11

Posts: 149

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RE: "He's just who he is," Belle says, bristling against labels. Is Belle right? Does it matter?

Agree! Assigning labels can be detrimental.


Posted May. 03, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
djn

Join Date: 05/19/11

Posts: 82

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RE: "He's just who he is," Belle says, bristling against labels. Is Belle right? Does it matter?

We all have an image of what we want a child to be..and Belle's response is one we all should strive to embrace.


Posted May. 03, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cathyoc

Join Date: 04/26/17

Posts: 11

RE: "He's just who he is," Belle says, bristling against labels. Is Belle right? Does it matter?

I do think Belle is correct, she accepts her son as he is and thinks he is perfect. She can see the gifts he has to offer long before others become aware of the impact that he has made in his short lifespan.


Posted May. 04, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
deeh

Join Date: 03/03/12

Posts: 158

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RE: "He's just who he is," Belle says, bristling against labels. Is Belle right? Does it matter?

As the mother of a fifty-two-year-old man with Asperger's syndrome, I don't care much for labels. People tend to put limits on what they think an individual is able to do. It was obvious that the boy was going to be some kind of special person when he grew up. I believe Belle hit the nail on the head when she stated that he was born to do research.


Posted May. 04, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
NancyPH

Join Date: 02/09/17

Posts: 5

RE: "He's just who he is," Belle says, bristling against labels. Is Belle right? Does it matter?

I appreciate the comments from teachers on this post. I had an unusual son, and the public school district really didn't know what to do with him. The system caused him much pain, but I could see the teachers' points as well- it's hard to manage a class with serious non-conformers.


Posted May. 05, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kellyo

Join Date: 09/15/16

Posts: 36

RE: "He's just who he is," Belle says, bristling against labels. Is Belle right? Does it matter?

The boy recognized he had "deficiencies." He understood he was different. It was never clear if he actually had a diagnosis. Unfortunately our school system seems to be geared to one kind of kid. Kids with a different learning style end up being in special classes. The boy was obviously bright. There wasn't any mention of him having any behavioral issues. It sounded like he may have had some obsessive compulsive disorder with his need to have things in 10. He was also more of a perfectionist when he did chores for Ona compared to the other boys. I agree he should be who he is. The world is full of different people. Our society still tends to bully and put labels on people who are different. A lot of times it is the people who are different or stand out that end up being succesful.


Posted May. 12, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianaps

Join Date: 05/29/15

Posts: 183

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RE: "He's just who he is," Belle says, bristling against labels. Is Belle right? Does it matter?

Belle accepted her son as he was and wanted everyone else to do the same.


Posted May. 15, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
debrav

Join Date: 08/16/11

Posts: 24

RE: "He's just who he is," Belle says, bristling against labels. Is Belle right? Does it matter?

In a perfect world with tolerance and respect for everyone Belle would be right. Unfortunately that is not our world and maybe the boy would have been better served if she had a diagnosis and he could define his unique personality in a way that was positive. It might have helped his relationship with Quinn also-- allowed Quinn to understand why the boy did things the way he did, perhaps even embrace the strengths of his personality.


Posted May. 20, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
BetsyBookWorm

Join Date: 05/20/17

Posts: 4

RE: "He's just who he is," Belle says, bristling against labels. Is Belle right? Does it matter?

She is right, but I think it can be helpful to have a name for a set of characteristics. Ona was "old" but that didn't define her, and a label of autism or Aspergers shouldn't define people with these traits. The name helps other people understand but shouldn't limit or constrain the potential of people with the traits.


Posted Jun. 01, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
juliep

Join Date: 04/07/12

Posts: 69

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RE: "He's just who he is," Belle says, bristling against labels. Is Belle right? Does it matter?

No one likes labels, but if he has certain tendencies that keep him from learning or from feeling comfortable in society, then his mother should seek help from teachers and/or professionals. That doesn't mean he should change, or can change, but might help him be happier.


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