As part of the assessment process, I always conduct an interview (usually with the mom) to get an overview of the issues of concern.
Typically, there will be multiple disorders that have been raised by other professionals along with the parent diagnosing by Google.
A mom recently said something like the following:
“When I asked about dyslexia, the teachers raised the question of either dysgraphia or dyscalculia.”
“Phonological awareness/auditory processing disorder was raised by another.”
“My sister thinks he has an oppositional defiant disorder and is sure that there is an attention deficit disorder.”
“My therapist raised the issue of an emotional dysregulation disorder.”
“My husband thinks he is spoiled and just needs more discipline.”
At some point when I feel my eyeballs snapping as they often do when I am in the midst of “disorder speak,” I try and cut through it with a simple question:
“Without any psychological explanation, what’s your mom gut?”
Since no one’s asked the mom this question before, typically there is a moment of being slightly surprised that someone wants her opinion stated in this way.
“Well, I think he has a reading problem and he hates doing it, because it embarrasses him. He will do anything to get out of it.”
“Sounds pretty on point to me,” I respond.
I have learned to trust “mom gut” over the years.
About 99% of the time they are on the money.
(The dads are another story.)
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