One amazing aspect of homeschooling is the ability to customize our child’s education and make accommodations as needed. Many of us don’t seek out professional diagnoses for our kids because we know that we can address learning struggles or emotional issues at home just fine. The interesting thing is that sometimes we may be misdiagnosing our kids. Here are a few key areas to keep an eye on and solutions for each one.
Misdiagnosing a Late-Talker
Do you have a child who isn’t talking like their peers? Maybe you notice that they would rather grunt or use hand gestures to communicate with you? Sometimes these late-talkers are misdiagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. But many times, these children just need their parents to understand and use methods to help them through this stage.
No, you don’t need to always seek professional help with your late-talking child. In fact, as their parent, you are uniquely qualified to help them through even this roadblock! Just like you are uniquely qualified to homeschool this child. We have to lose the public school mindset that says only certified teachers are qualified to educate children.
Sometimes using too much technology can negatively impact the speech progression of young children. So, instead of parking your young child on the couch with an iPad, continue to engage in meaningful conversation with that child.
Misdiagnosing our late-talking kids as having autism could prevent us from finding real solutions for them.
If you suspect that your child is a late-talker, sometimes the causes could be:
- Physiological causes – like ear infections & blockages
- Environmental causes – verbal language models are essential – are you talking to and with your children?
- Emotional causes – trauma & family issues
Remember, lots and lots of reading with your child will certainly help a late-talker! But, there is hope! Listen in on episode 103 of the Homeschool with Moxie Podcast to hear an interview with a speech-language pathologist and language facilitation consultant as she discusses solutions for late-talkers. If your child has been diagnosed with autism, it might actually be a misdiagnosis. Check out the podcast to deep dive into this possibility.
Misdiagnosing a Highly Sensitive Child
Another very common trait that may be misdiagnosed as autism is that of having a highly sensitive child. These kids can have big emotions that make them hard to understand if you’re a parent without this trait yourself! Episode 104 of the Homeschool with Moxie Podcast explores the tell-tale signs of highly sensitive kids (and parents!) and discusses solutions.
In this episode, we discuss:
- Do professionals sometimes misdiagnose this?
- What does this look like on a day-to-day basis?
- How can we parent these kids better?
- What are their superpowers?
- Gentle Parenting
- The importance of routine
These are just two very common struggles that sometimes are misdiagnosed by even the professionals. The more knowledge you have, the more power you have to craft a customized education that allows your kids to flourish, even if they struggle in certain areas.
Finally, check out these additional resources:
- Parents of Children with Autism Choosing Homeschooling
- Yes, Homeschooling Your Child With Autism Is Possible
- Weekly Autism Planner
- Homeschooling with Dyslexia
Abby is a former public school teacher, now homeschooling her five children. She’s in the trenches just like you and knows it can be challenging to be home with your kids all day while you struggle to keep up with the housework and educate your kids (and maybe even work on the side!). She blogs over at www.4onemore.com and hosts the Homeschool with Moxie podcast.