Personality and Diagnostic Labels

Personality/Diagnostic Labels:

Sometimes a descriptive diagnositc label can help.  A caring friend or teacher may find it helpful to know that a child is “intense” or “spirited” or “ADD” or “gifted” but not always.  What if that teacher or other person has a negitive feeling about “spirited” and that negitive feeling ends up being translated to the child?  Instead of dealing with the “child” and what ever the behavior is they ignore it because “oh, he’s spirited”.

By lumping children into a label, people presume that each child has the same characteristics.  It’s common for people who see a child who has trouble being attentive to assume that he has add or adhd when there are multiple reasons for a child to have attention problems, not all of which are attention deficit or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.  Attention problems can be a result of emotional or environmental factors as well.

Attention difficulties can be a result of;

  • anxiety
  • inconsistant dicipline
  • food/additive sensitivity
  • Iron-deficiency anaemia
  • Dyslexia
  • Central auditory processing disorder (CAPD)
  • Sleep deprivation

It is considered to be a wiser choice to use descriptive terms to focus on a child’s area of difficulty than to lump everything into one ‘label’.

For instance, it’s all well and fine to say that a child has an attention problem but focus… is it all the time, when it’s noisy? during group activities? during periods of activity requiring intense concentration?

Only when we focus on the whole issue are we able to work towards helping the child with the difficulty.  Putting a label on him doesn’t help him.



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