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.