Being Lazy

Looking back now, I can honestly say that I am happy that our psychologist diagnosed Kaitlyn with Asperger’s.  While every day is an adventure, at least we can wake up each morning having some sense of what we are facing, and that makes a huge difference.

I have noticed a trend in talking with family, friends, and acquaintances with kids.  More and more, they reveal to me that their child, or their niece or nephew, or the neighbor kid, have been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD).  And that just strikes me as odd.

Growing up, I remember not being able to sit still for too long (that continues today), and having trouble focusing on things that did not pique my interest.  Kaitlyn is like that, too.  I would bet that most kids are that way.

Which brings me to the ease (or perceived ease) of diagnosing a child with ADD.  Your child cannot sit still?  Must be ADD.  Bounces from activity to activity?  ADD.  Doesn’t like doing homework?  You guessed it, ADD.

My question is, are more kids being diagnosed with ADD because it is an easy label to put on a child?  And a more accepted one than autism or Asperger’s?  When teachers and school staff hear a child has ADD, I bet they don’t think twice about being a little more comfortable with regards to having an action plan in place.  When they hear autism or Asperger’s, I imagine there is a collective cringing because each case is so unique.  ADD can be somewhat controlled by medication; autism and Asperger’s generally cannot be.

It would have been easy for our psychologist to mistake Kaitlyn’s Asperger’s traits with ADD symptoms.  But I am thankful that he dug deeper.  I am thankful that he took the time to really figure out what was going on.  I am thankful that he was not being lazy.


3 responses

  1. I agree. This is the same thing with my daughter. She was originally diagnosed ADHD, but now it is clear that it is high-functioning Autism SPectrum Disorder

  2. I agree…and so do many ASD specialists. I think too often parents dont want to deal with their child’s irregular behavior and instead of changing their parenting styles or child’s habits, they just want a reason why and a “fix”. And now we have children who think something is wrong with them…when really they are just kids. And I am completely on the same page as you about teachers…dealing with ASD takes a lot more commitment and effort and many are too unfamiliar and find it overwhelming. In many respects I cant blame them – teachers in FL dont have much freedom over the way their classrooms are run anymore, thus they dont want to put the energy into learning about teaching a child any differently than the rest of their students. It makes me so sad.

    1. And parents can be too willing to accept the easy diagnosis, thus having that potential “fix.” I hate that teachers have zero freedom over their classrooms. They have no incentive to make the classroom their own anymore. Sadly, they have to be so concerned with teaching to FCAT.

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