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Kids PlayingTo Label or Not to Label? This is the Question! Part 2

By Jan Bedell, Little Giant Steps’ Brain Coach

You know your child is struggling but the “why of it all” escapes you. Researching on the Internet has left you wondering if your child is Dyslexic, or has ADD, ADHD, CAPD (Central Auditory Processing Disorder), PDD (Pervasive Developmental Delay), autism spectrum or some other of the myriad of learning or sensory labels. All the labels that don’t have a genetic basis or some insult to the central nervous system (such as in-utereo drug and alcohol exposure) that I am aware of are truly “symptomatic” labels. What is a symptomatic label? That’s when there is a list of characteristics or behaviors that determine whether a person is identified with a certain label. The learning and behavior labels listed above have no blood test or brain scan. They are simply a list of symptoms and if there are enough checks on the list, the individual gets labeled.

Many times there is a recommendation to medicate. These professionals have experienced clients that have these specific symptoms and without meds, nothing changes for the individual. Parents are often met with a very hard decision. They want help for their child but many question arise especially about medicines that are in the same FDA classification as cocaine i.e. Ritalin.

My experience has been very different over the last 20+ years while working in the field of neurodevelopment. You see, when the brain receives specific stimulation, the individual’s function changes. My experience has been that children not able to function without Ritalin or other medications have experienced reduced or non-existent symptoms IF the right kind of stimulation is achieved over time. Learn more about Aaron’s story.

My contention is that every symptom on these lists is caused by an inefficiency in the brain. The brain controls everything that we do, so changing the brain, changes the brain’s function. You may ask, “Is there really a way to change the brain?” The answer, absolutely! We are fearfully and wonderfully made. Our Creator gave us brain plasticity. Plasticity is the brain’s ability to change and grow new pathways resulting in better function. It is like building a better road to go between Point A and Point B. When this happens in the brain, the functional changes are like cruising down the highway instead of bumping down a country dirt road.

Many parents come to Little Giant Steps with a thick report and a confused and sometimes heartbroken look on their face. Their child was tested and received a label. They were given a packet of mostly undiscernible language, some vague coping and compensating recommendations and a list of limitations the child will have to learn to live with. My recommendation is this. Don’t accept limitations! Press in to find out how the outcome can be different. The NeuroDevelopmental Approach can unlock your child’s fullest God given potential.

In Part 3 of To Label or Not to Label, look for answers to these questions: Is it best for my child that struggles to be home schooled or should I leave it to the “professionals”? When is receiving a label an important step? Is there an alternative to labeling?

In the meantime, get more understanding from the Brain Coach, through articles and free podcasts at (scroll down to where you see the list of learning labels)

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