When our children have difficulties in school, learning or another issue which makes us suspect that there is something “wrong” we don’t many options to get a diagnosis without sending our children through testing.
I know I’ve mentioned this before but in case you are a first time reader, I’m an adult who has ADD and dyslexia. I have a daughter with Cerebral Palsy and possibly other learning issues. I write this post from the perspective of someone who has been through way too many tests and feel that I was completely discarded in the process.
When I was a child and had a difficult time reading and learning my letters my parents knew something was up. I am 35 and on the cusp of society truly recognizing issues like dyslexia. Previously kids like me were generally considered dumb and I have friends that never were diagnosed and were considered dumb because they never received the help they needed. That said you can test too much and devalue your child’s self worth easily.
Children are not dumb, and the process of trying to figure out how your child learns, and the language you use while going through the process and then naming “what’s Wrong” can be very trying. The tests are difficult for anyone and if you have a different learning style as I do then they are even more difficult. Additionally when they are administered to you as a child you know that it is not normal to be tested regularly and you eventually start to ask the same question except there is a little something added “what’s wrong WITH ME.” I know I did and realistically life became harder when I got a diagnosis of dyslexia. A number of years later I learned that it really didn’t matter because I was as smart as or smarter than many folks anyway but as a child, I held the belief that there is something wrong with me and that is why I’m being tested.
As an adult raising a child who has delays because of CP and possibly because of a learning style I am concerned about over testing my child. I know regardless of if she has dyslexia or whatever she is smart, she has great interpersonal skills and she learns well.
Are there delays? Some. Are they significant? They are not as bad as mine were. Should we test? My wife and I probably disagree on this. She wants to and is testing. I’m not going to stand in the way here, yet but I’m monitoring my daughter’s attitude and how we talk about testing. There is no what’s wrong. There is we are trying to figure out learn style so we can help you do your best. But kids are smart and introspective so I ask her if she minds the tests and as long as she doesn’t I’ll let my wife proceed but as soon as she starts to we’ll make sure that we do everything to treat and teach and not worry so much about the diagnosis after all it won’t change how we attack her learning difficulties it will just give us another name to label her with. I hate labels.
Labels are not who we are! And there is nothing wrong with who we are.