The numbers are staggering. 1 in 10 children are diagnosed with ADHD -Attention Deficit disorder. 1 in 68 children are diagnosed with Autism, two-thirds of those being mostly high functioning, many with a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome.
These are the children who so often fall through the cracks. The children who, because of being misunderstood and unidentified, are given educations far below their capabilities. The children who are steered away from their true potential due to their differences, which are allowed to overshadow their areas of strength. These are the children who spend their lives trying to unravel the social cues and over-excitabilities that often leave them isolated and lost. These are the children that are often referred to as “Gifted” or “Twice Exceptional,” though both terms are often misused or misunderstood. A child that is referred to as “Gifted” or “2E” has both unique gifts in specific areas as well as deficits which lead to a diagnosis, most often ADHD or Autism.
These are YOUR children.
Parents must navigate the muddy waters of misdiagnosis and mislabeling of these bright children without direction–a journey that too often ends in frustration and uncertainty. I think parents are a diagnostician’s greatest asset: we are the medical historians; we are the holders of the keys that can unlock our children’s potential. Despite their best intentions, the psychologists, neurologists, psychiatrists, occupational and speech language therapists, can be limited due to diagnostic criteria that do not take our children’s enormous strengths into consideration when deciding on treatment and educational options.
1 in 10 …… 1 in 68 ……
Is it time for parents to take that leap? Are our children’s greatest assets, their parents, ready to implement the true meaning of advocacy and pave the way for our brightest minds? What would you like to see changed in the way your children and teens are identified, diagnosed and directed towards educational and therapeutic options? Our children are bright not broken: They are special not only in their needs, but also in their brilliance.
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