So today I was reading an article on the Guardian about parents pushing for special needs diagnosis for their children so their children can gain a competitive edge in statewide testing. It also is being used as an excuse for the lack of parenting that a parent does. The rude behavior in a child, the failure to be successful in school, and worst of all the feeling that the label a child receives will allow the child to be accepted not for their merits but instead out of sympathy.
Some of the positive things are that 10% to 25% of children diagnosed early with things such as ASD can resolve their processing issues to lead normal adult lives. In my experience with my T1D diagnoses it was never about the diagnoses defining me but finding ways to work around it so I can be a functional member of society. It was nothing my parents ever bragged about as a child. It was NEVER MY EXCUSE. Yet today instead of actually raising our children we hope to define them with labels so we can give ourselves a break. This is not to say that those children with ASD is not on the rise because it is. As women and men put off having children earlier in life the risk for defects goes up including the risk of having a child with ASD.
I wanted to talk about the rise in misdiagnosed children today because one of the members of my family was misdiagnosed with ASD. He walked around with that label for several years at his school and in his family. Now as part of my background I have taught young adults with ASD. The behaviors are very identifiable. He did not show any of the signs that I commonly saw in my students. He loved loud noises, he would look me in the eye when he would talk to me, and he showed concern about my feelings. Key indicators that he did not have ASD. I had asked my mother at one point prior to my family and me going our separate ways if she thought he had ASD. She said defiantly not. Mind you she has over 20 years in elementary education in both teaching and being a principle. So we had the school psych reevaluate. Reevaluation is supposed to occur every one to three years in the schools. It had been over five years so we figured it was a good time for a re-diagnoses. And like my suspicions confirmed the diagnoses was lifted and he was no longer diagnosed with ASD.
By lifting the diagnoses from him we were able to remove a label. He would now be able to live and not have an excuse for his disruptive and rude behavior. It was his choice to be that way and it’s a parent’s responsibility to correct it. While his other diagnoses still remained it was one less label he could use as an excuse. The problem with parents today is we do not take teach our children to be responsible for their own behavior. We do not teach them they have to work hard for the things they want. We instead just do the work for them and keep going.
Yet how are our children supposed to learn to adapt and overcome their challenges? When we do not teach our children to overcome we end up with the chaos we have in our colleges today. With young adults crying about how their feelings got hurt. In the college world it’s the Freedom to Teach and the Freedom to Learn. In college you’re an adult and as a college professor we expect you to have the ability to form logical arguments for why you disagree with us not cry and complain about how you disagree with our point of view. GROW UP. Be the parent who teaches their children to be functional adults because inevitably you will die and we want to ensure our children have the skills and abilities necessary to raise our grandchildren to be functional and meaningful adults in our future. When we fail to teach our children how to adapt, overcome, and survive we die as a population and lose the ability to continue our family lines. Is that what you want for your family? I do not how about you?