What changes?

I recently wrote a short post about diagnosis, and my concerns about labeling people, especially when they’re very young.

Since then, a couple of things have happened which gave me fresh concern.

The first is this story, about a boy who was diagnosed with autism, declared to be chronically low functioning, who might have stayed that way if his parents hadn’t ignored the professional’s advice. When I read it I thought I should be cheering, but actually it made me feel sick. How many times might this have happened? How many parents will read that and think, “Did we really do the right thing for our child?”

Perhaps the lesson here is to trust your instincts more than your official diagnosis. And never give up.

The second thing that got me thinking was a post on Facebook. A mother announced that her son, who is 7, had just been diagnosed with Aspergers. She was overwhelmed and didn’t know what to do. From my perspective, I felt that nothing should change. Her son is still the same little boy she’s known for 7 years. He hasn’t altered overnight.

I wanted her to remember that she knew this boy. She understands who he is and how he is, every day.

Don’t let a diagnosis limit your life, or the life of someone you love.

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