Nowadays it seems like every time you turn around children are being diagnosed with some mental or behavioral disorder such as autism spectrum, ADD, ADHD, et cetera. Many times, the diagnosis starts at the schools where teachers have suggested that parents have their child checked for a particular disorder. Based on whatever findings or observations the teacher makes during classroom sessions, he or she may feel that the child’s behavior is due to an underlying issue.
Many times, children who have been thought to have behavioral problems, end up later being diagnosed as having attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). While ADD is more of a hindrance when it comes to focusing, ADHD not only makes it hard for the child to focus, the disorder can also be the reason for children being hyperactive and even what some would label as being bad. More often than not, children who exhibit these behaviors are not bad at all but have a neurodevelopmental condition. Conditions that affect the brain such as ADHD can sometimes be hard to detect as they can be mistaken for misbehavior.
While teachers can suggest to parents that their child may possibly suffer from a behavioral disorder such as ADHD, any adhd in children is difficult to diagnose since children tend to be somewhat hyper anyway. Children should be evaluated professionally over a period of time to be certain that the cause of the behavioral problems is, in fact, that of a disorder rather than just a case of a child misbehaving. This is what makes early diagnosis very difficult since differentiating a hyper child from that of one with the disorder is quite hard to do.
I am no doctor by any means, however, when our son was about 18 months old, he began to show some signs of autism. My wife and I are very attentive to our children, especially our son who is the youngest and we immediately knew something was wrong. My wife was actually the one who brought it to my attention since she is a stay at home mom and spends all day with our son. We took him to the doctor and surprisingly the doctor didn’t see anything wrong and told us not to worry. Though most parents would have breathed a sigh of relief and left the matter alone, we did not.
We began doing research on treatments for autism and early intervention. We had begun doing some home therapy sessions when about three months in, our son’s doctor agreed that our son was in fact on the spectrum. However, we weren’t concerned even given the dismal prognosis by our pediatrician because we had already come to terms with it long before an official diagnosis.
We continued our home therapy and by our sons 3rd birthday, he had virtually no symptoms of autism at all. The doctor was in disbelief and asked us what we did to turn things around. I’ll tell you what we did. We paid attention to our child, that’s what we did. By knowing our child, we saw what the doctor didn’t’. You can learn a lot just by paying attention to your children as well as your parental instinct.
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