SENGinar - The Social and Emotional Impact of Misdiagnosis in Gifted Children and Adolescents
Time & Location
About The Event
Misdiagnosis and overdiagnosis are common in the gifted experience; especially with diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and ADHD. Perhaps one of the most prevalent reasons for this misdiagnosis and/or overdiagnosis is the “just in case” approach. The argument seems to be that if a child might have a disability, even if the symptoms don’t quite match the criteria given their current age (or even if they do), being diagnosed can help them find understanding and be supported through accommodations and/or interventions. It’s often thought that to not do so would be more detrimental. However, what if the diagnosis is wrong? What if the accommodations and interventions don’t help the person, but actually cause harm.
Although misdiagnoses is commonly discussed in the greater gifted community, few studies document how the individual feels after being misdiagnosed. In this SENGinar, Cam Werley-Gonzales facilitates a conversation with Margo Margan, a teen misdiagnosed with ASD. Margo will share her story about how misdiagnosis affected her specifically; how her misdiagnosis impacted her identity, and how the services provided cost her valuable life experiences and changed her relationships with those around her. This story shares the trauma of misdiagnosis, particularly one that results in unneeded therapy and services. Hopefully this can help provide understanding if you or someone you know has been through a similar experience.
About the Presenters:
Cam Werley-Gonzales is the owner of The Cambria Institute, a company that celebrates gifted learning an living that is fully out of the (proverbial) education box. With over 25 years as an expert educator, it is Cam’s deepest conviction that while gifted learners can engage with some success in schools, they are optimally served by alternate learning pathways, most notably homeschooling and unschooling. The Cambria Institute supports gifted families to embody their giftedness in all areas of their lives; the truth is, we get to learn, friend, work, love, parent, hobby, and enjoy all the the things that come along with this intense and massively phenomenal gifted life with ease and alignment. Uniquely, each in our own way.
Margo Margan is a gifted teen as well as a writer and creator who has written several pieces on her experience with misdiagnosis. She aims to bring awareness to the trauma of misdiagnoses and to help other teens misdiagnosed know they are not alone, and find a community where they can be understood in their unique experience.