Why a diagnosis is important
To parents it will be clear that their child experiences a range of difficulties and most will have given cause for concern at school, as well as at home. However, the presentation of behaviours and difficulties can be highly variable and complex, making it hard to establish exactly what the underlying problems are. The undiagnosed child is often seen as 'puzzling' and displaying traits of many conditions but does not appear to fit any specific category of need. Generally too, they fail to respond well to interventions that would be helpful for other children displaying similar difficulties.
A diagnosis therefore has two major benefits. Firstly it identifies the nature and underlying causes of the problems, but most importantly signposts towards the most appropriate strategies and approaches. Many children will require additional support in school and it is critical that this support is tailored to their needs.
A diagnosis is also helpful in highlighting that the child's difficulties are primarily due to a developmental disorder rather than a result of parenting issues.