The early diagnosis of children is so widely practiced that we seldom question its validity or helpfulness. The theory behind early diagnosis makes sense, on the surface: the earlier the diagnosis, the earlier the child can get help and services, and the earlier the disability/condition can be remediated or “fixed.” These are considered the benefits of early diagnosis, but there is also potential harm in early diagnosis.
In 2003, while presenting at an Early Intervention (EI)/Early Childhood Education (ECE) conference that included parents and professionals, I discussed this issue. At one point, I shared examples of what can happen when a child is diagnosed (and this applies primarily when the child has not been diagnosed at birth): parents often see the child differently and begin treating the child differently. I then noted that the child is no different before he was diagnosed than after, but once the diagnosis is issued, the child’s life is often turned topsy-turvy. He didn’t change, but his parents did! They see him differently and treat him differently . . . Click here to continue.
Early Diagnosis: Boon or Bane?
New Ways of Thinking and Revolutionary Common Sense
The hearts of small children are delicate organs. A cruel beginning in this world can twist them into curious shapes.