Your child does not suffer from a disorder — this is the supposed truth that’s offered to you within the confines of a principal’s office. No symptoms were discovered, it’s explained. No worries were found. Your son is perfectly normal, will require no secondary aid or alternative teachings. He is merely… restless and would benefit from medication. This will surely tame his distracted mind and allow him to focus. And you’re assured then that all will be well. There’s nothing to fret about. Everything is perfect.
You’re not convinced.
Your child is different from his peers. His motor skills are lamentable; his ability to read is weak. He does not lack intelligence. He simply can’t express facts without stumbling, is forever frustrated by books and their confounding pages. Medication, you believe, won’t help with this.
And so you seek another opinion — and learn that he does indeed have a disability. The school was wrong; and you wonder if it was intentional.
The sad truth of public education is that all special needs pupils must be supported by the schools themselves. Slices of the budget must be offered to provide the necessary assistances: such as computer programs, isolated study rooms and specialized teachers. These costs can be great and many districts lack the funds (and the desire) to spare for them.
And disorders may therefore go undiagnosed, assumed to be simple behavioral concerns. Children can be deemed hyper-active or merely wild — with medication forced upon them rather than genuine help.
It’s essential therefore that all parents trust their instincts. If a learning difficulty is suspected, a third party opinion must be sought. Do not rely on unqualified nurses or counselors to test your child. They can easily mistake symptoms or simply ignore them entirely. Understand the truth of a disease and receive the proper care for it.
You know your child. You know when something is wrong. Make sure others know it as well.