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“Today, normal developmental phases can be misread as disorders by classroom teachers. Then, their inexpert diagnoses are too quickly confirmed by pediatricians in 15-minute office visits. Parents leave the doctor with a prescription in their hand and a label on their child.”

I wanted to share this very bubble-y piece badly enough to remember my blog login.  Maureen Downey has always hit the mark. But lately, everything she writes seems a bullseye to me.

Yes, it’s OK to be a boy” >

I enjoyed dinner and many glasses of wine this weekend with two mothers of kindergarten boys. Both are wonderful kids — and each a challenge, marching to his very own drummer. Hooray for them, I can say in my new-found grandma attitude toward little boys who aren’t mine.
If I had a dollar for every story I’ve heard in the past two years about mothers of kindergarten boys getting called up to school to talk about how their kids are unmanageable, or not academically up-to snuff, or not socially ready for school . . . they are 5 years old, for god’s sake! So what if some of them can’t read yet, or want to stand up all day, or need to bounce up and down while standing in line in the hall.
Personally, it’s very nice to read in Maureen’s story a validation of the “wait and see” approach.  It’s  extremely hard to do this in the pushy-mom suburban bubble we live in.
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4 Comments

Filed under in the bubble

4 responses to “Labels

  1. David Doke

    Do you think she has ever met Graham? She sure seems to be writing about him.

    • BDay

      . . . and Warren, and Tom, and a bunch of others I know.

      My point is always that we need to realize that is nothing “wrong” with these kids. There are an awful lot of children who are just not wired for the way school works. This does not mean that they necessarily have a “disorder,” but it may take them longer — and they may have to work harder — to adapt to the way school wants to teach them. Intervention, in the form of meds or learning plans or other accommodations, may certainly help. These are difficult individual family decisions, but I really like this call to “wait and see.”

  2. Jeff

    That article could have been about me. I was lucky, my parents did the wait and see approach. Plus, our Principal at Bells Ferry Elementary, Mr. Turner, knew just what to do…….make the boys run around the school several times (below is excerpt from the article): “Give high-energy boys a chance to release energy by letting them run around the house or out in the yard before school.” “In class, restore recess and give young kids 10-minute stretch and walk-around breaks every hour.”

    Of course I realize that some folks maybe still taking the “wait & see” approach….as far as I am concerned.

  3. fbbrown

    Thanks, Beth. I just thank God for teachers and administrators who recognize those kids who march to their own drummer and are not put off by them, but rather engage them in different, but just-as-successful learning strategies. And for those who realize the importance for preschool-Kindergarten kids to learn to play, and play well together. In the race to make our kids smart, we’ve kind of left the getting-along-with-others in the dust.

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