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The Better Behavior Show with Dr. Nicole Beurkens

Jan 17, 2022

This week’s question is from Alan and Cara,

“We have a seven-year-old adopted daughter who has struggled with all aspects of regulation and development since she came home with us as a young toddler. She has sensory processing issues, major eating and sleeping issues is hyperactive and impulsive, learning issues, generally is difficult for kids and adults to get along with. Raising her has been challenging to say the least, and the ways that we have handled our other two kids just don't seem to be very effective for her.

There are lots of things we could ask questions about, but the issue we are struggling with right now is getting an accurate diagnosis for her. She's been seen by many professionals and has had many labels given like ADHD, possible Autism, ODD, anxiety disorder, learning disorder, feeding disorder, and sensory processing disorder. We are confused about how all these labels can be accurate, and feel like the real diagnosis hasn't been determined yet. She's scheduled to see another clinician next month, and we hope that maybe she can give us a definitive diagnosis. We feel like until we get the right diagnosis, we can't figure out the best way to help her. What suggestions do you have for getting an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan for a child like this?”

In this episode, I will address the parent’s concerns about getting an accurate diagnosis. The most important thing to remember is that chasing a diagnosis can be a life-long challenge with no real end result. But treatment can start now! Though it may seem like it, a diagnosis is not the key to developing an appropriate treatment plan for your child, specifically in the realm of psychology and mental health. Clinical diagnoses have their place and can be helpful in opening doors, but they can also be extremely limiting and get you and your child stuck on the frustrating hamster wheel of no progress.  I will talk about how to shift the focus toward progress so you can help your child be their best by looking at symptoms and not getting hung up on the labels.

You can submit a question by emailing us at with the subject line "Podcast Question."

Episode Takeaways:

How do we get the right diagnosis? … 00:01:15

Getting a Definitive or “Right” Diagnosis … 00:02:23

Concern with Fixating on the Diagnosis or Label … 00:08:17

Diagnosis is Not the Key to Developing an Appropriate Treatment Plan … 00:11:15

Where is the Answer Found? … 00:13:25

What is My Clinical Evaluation Process … 00:17:35

How the Digging Deeper Workshop Can Help … 00:21:45

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