There was a time when my answer was clear and firm.
I used to say…. sure, go ahead and test. Getting a label takes the pressure off the child who’s been thinking he’s defective.
A label gives you a reason for all the clear challenges that have been a part of his life.
It removes personal blame.
In fact, the preface of my first book How to Get Your Child Off the Refrigerator and On To Learning takes this stand with enthusiasm.
“Put the Label on the Table” I happily burble. “If you don’t come up with a label, your child will gravitate to their own self diagnosis. And what they typically come up with is ‘I’m stupid.’ So yes, yes, and yes. Get a label as soon as you can.”
I still believe in the value of having a clear recognition of just what is going on. But the years have added to my understanding of the ramifications of that label. It doesn’t simply give you a name to call this condition. It gives you much, much more. There are things that come with this label than I had not originally realized. (more…)