By Nadine Briggs and Donna Shea
As the parent of a fairly complicated person, I (Nadine) find myself second-guessing doctors quite often. It’s not that I don’t trust their training and expertise because I value them greatly, but I know my daughter and she is a puzzle. There have been times when I get that feeling that the diagnosis just isn’t quite right. For a time I will go with what the experts say and give their approach a try but eventually, I hop on the Internet and start searching. This week is one of those weeks where I did just that. I found what sounded like the exact issue my girl was struggling with and I brought that to the latest expert. Not that I want to label people but having the right diagnosis can lead to the right medication, treatment, support, and further our collective understanding of the problem. I now know what books to read and websites to visit to be able to help her.
We have blogged about parental instinct in the past and these tips hold true. Here is a list of times when you might want to trust your parental instincts:
1. When you think a problem is bigger or smaller than the professionals think it is;
2. When you think someone does not have your child’s best interests in mind;
3. When you think your child is under or over medicated;
4. When you think your child might have an undiscovered diagnosis (that feeling that there is more to the story);
5. When the diagnosis your child was given seems like the wrong one;
6. When you suspect that someone is being unkind to, or bullying, your child;
7. When you know in your heart that your child is capable of more but that something is getting in the way;
8. When the school your child attends seems like completely the wrong setting for him or her;
9. When you think that someone might be lying to you; and
10. When someone who interacts with your child gives you the creeps.
Gut instincts might not always be right, of course, but that feeling that something is off could be the very thing that points you in the right direction for your child. Trust your gut, follow up with that feeling to tease out if you are right, and create a different plan of action that speaks to you as the right one. I, for one, feel that my daughter will now finally get the help she needs because the diagnosis of her struggle feels spot on.
Important note: Always discuss your findings with a medical professional.