Are We Misdiagnosing Our Kids?

May 31, 2021

Abby Banks

Abby Banks

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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.

mom with kids

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

Additional Resources 

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:

Related resources

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    The Best Tips for Homeschooling Multiple Grades & Levels

  • The Benefits of Using an All-in-One Boxed Curriculum

  • How to Start Homeschooling in the Middle of the School Year

  • How Giving Kids Chores Builds Character & Responsibility

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    The Best Tips for Homeschooling a Gifted Child

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    The Best Teaching Strategies for Auditory Learners