Labelling Your Kids With ADHD: Good or Bad Idea?
I have never known a parent to rejoice in labelling their child with ADHD/ADD. Sometimes a diagnosis comes with relief because there are (limited) options and programs out there to help kids with ADHD.
But with attention deficit at the forefront, teachers, schools, doctors and even parents may be jumping to diagnose something that may in fact be something else - like anxiety or a learning disability. Or just immaturity.
Diagnosing ADHD/ADD is an art and takes a large time investment by the parents, child and psychologist. And parents struggle with the question: what is worse, the stigma, or the unknown? Some say at least a label makes them feel like it's not the fault of bad parenting.
As someone who flirts with inattention, I was angry that my mother never told me that teachers had identified that as an issue early on. Could I have developed skills that would have made rote learning more interesting? Or was it just boredom? Does inattention help fuel my creativity? Or does it hold me back?
Or am I just using it as excuse for my typos?
And yet, as I look at my children: would I want to know? They all have their struggles, but overall are doing well in school and are creative and interesting kids. Would a diagnosis change how I look at them?
I have heard many stories of parents who've struggled with the school system after their kids were diagnosed with ADHD, or of the school forcing a diagnosis on them without proper research. I can see why some parents would choose not to know, or at least not to tell the school.
Amy Windsor, a mother of three (and blogger) says that getting a diagnosis for all three of her boys was a relief and was an important step so that they could move forward. You can see in the video how emotional the whole situation makes her. But she is confident that "labelling" her kids has given them tools to be more successful.
What do you think? Would you label your kids? Or just deal with the issues as they come up?
Want more chaos? Last year, I couldn't decide if allowance was a reward for chores, or not. A year later, still not sure.