|Image by Walt Stoneburner.|
Looking back, I can't recall any of my classmates being diagnosed as autistic or as having any other mental disorder. Yes, there were children who were slower learners and ones who acted strangely, but none of them were ever talked about as having a disorder.
Of course, today, most parents worry about learning disorders and diagnosing autism early so they can make adjustments to help their child better adapt to a world that they don't fully understand. That's why it is so surprising to read that a 2007 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study found that more than 30 percent of children diagnosed as autistic at age two no longer fit the diagnosis at age four.
That's a lot of misdiagnosis, a lot of sleepless nights filled with worry for parents and a lot of problems with a system that is supposed to help children. Maybe we should all be taking a step back and comparing our child's behavior to a larger scale to find out if there is really a disorder or if the behavior is just a part of growing up.