If you are a parent and your child has recently gotten a diagnosis, or if you are a parent thinking about having our child assessed for a potential diagnosis, this post is for you!
In many parts of the Western world, the stigma around mental health challenges and diagnoses is slowly dissipating. As society slowly becomes more open to talk about mental health, people are starting to feel more open to seek mental health support, be it in the form of therapy or assessment. This means that more parents are open to have their child's social, emotional or academic challenges evaluated.
Many people (including parents) are often still wary of the 'label' that comes with a diagnosis: That people might treat their child differently if a diagnosis is confirmed. This is a reasonable fear to have, as people unfortunately have the tendency to put others in a box. Here's how you can choose to think about your child's (potential) diagnosis:
1.They are more than their diagnosis.
Having Anxiety, ADHD, Dyslexia or Depression is a fraction of who your child is as a person. The diagnosis speaks to a small part of them that might need extra attention and support but what about your child's unique qualities, strengths, and amazing characteristics as a human being? All these factors contribute greatly to who they are as a human being!
2. Knowledge is power!
Understanding with more clarity what your child struggles with, can empower you and their teachers to support them as best as possible. Even more importantly, if a child is made aware of their diagnosis, it often brings not only a sense of a relief but also an opportunity for them to get to know this part of themselves better and learn how they can help themselves better. Working with a psychologist to inform and educate your child about their diagnosis can be a very fruitful process in helping them understand themselves better.
I believe that every human possesses infinite potential and that what defines them is so much more than their challenges in life. Choose to see your child for the whole being that they are, and notice how their diagnosis only forms a small part of the unique being that they are!