My kids have often encountered little friends along the way who seem to have a few “quirks.” The kid might not have a formal diagnosis, but as I say to my kids, “let’s make sure we’re extra patient, there’s something ‘up’ with this little friend.”
Having something “up” with a kid is nothing new to me. The eldest of my six children was diagnosed with autism at the age of three. All of the other kids were neuro-typical, but when number six arrived I felt that, although no formal diagnosis would ever happen at such a young age, there was definitely something “up” with him.
So what does a mother do in such a situation? Well, this was not my first rodeo, so I had a few ideas of where to start. Do you think there’s an issue with your kiddo but your parents/friends/doctor thinks you’re being paranoid? A few suggestions:
- Listen to your kid’s teacher.
Believe me, no teachers want to put their lives on the line and tell a parent that their child is less than stereo typically “perfect.” Parents notoriously get defensive. Try not to. Really listen to what your child’s teacher is saying and even poke for more information. The more information you have, the better you’ll know how to move forward.
- Don’t do waiting lists.
There are long line-ups to get assessments done. Like, years long. The thought of kids rotting away on waiting list drives me nuts. Early intervention is key, and the time to take action is now. But, I’m not going to lie, getting assessments done privately is NOT CHEAP. Find the money where you can…cut back on anything you can, borrow from the grandparents – whatever it takes. You don’t want to lose valuable early intervention time.
- Trust your guts.
Sometimes we ignore them because we don’t want to be right. My little guy is eight. Last summer I got some assessments done and this year went very hard on a few issues. It paid off. I suspected with my guy that he had a little ADD flavour about him, perhaps with a dash of giftedness coupled with an LD (Learning Disability). Well, the results are in from a recent Psychological Educational (Psych Ed) assessment and looks like mama nailed it once again. Once you have the results, you can formulate strategies to best help your kiddo.
Do you have a child who is generally doing OK but there are a few quirks that have the red flags waving for you?
Author: Julie Cole
Julie Cole is the co-founding vice-president of award-winning children’s label manufacturer Mabel’s Labels. She has helped her company bring their product to a worldwide market, gain media recognition and win countless entrepreneur awards. Cole is a regular television contributor, an influential and syndicated blogger and a mother of six. Follow her on twitter @juliecole and Instagram @cole.julie