Are We Labeling Kids as "Acting Out" Too Quickly?

Katerina is eleven years old and is failing most of her subjects. She can barely sit still or concentrate and homework is always a struggle. At home, she is withdrawn and seems angry often. She also becomes physically aggressive at times. Her parents note that Katerina hides food in her room and has a tendency to break her toys.

Katerina's parents describe a home that is far from peaceful. As loving parents, they have devoted most of their time, energy, and finances towards helping Katerina. They are left feeling like "failures" and are utterly exhausted. They tell me that they are tired of behavior charts, diagnoses such as ADHD and ODD, medication and poor reports from teachers.

They ask me if I believe their child hates them. I reassure them that she doesn’t.


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