And I think it's bad parenting to do nothing when there are red flags that a child might need help. It is a parents job to watch, guide, support, and HELP. Allowing a child to flounder is so not okay. Especially when you know little to nothing about the problem or the interventions. I'm not saying that every child has to be on the same timeframe, but sometimes a child of 16 months isn't walking because they're not ready to walk and other times they're not walking because they have a neuromuscular disorder that hasn't been diagnosed yet.
Most of the time when a 16 month old isn't walking it is because they are not ready.
Most of the time when a 6 year old is not reading it is because they are 6 years old
Most one year olds who do not talk will learn to on their own.
There is a tendancy in our society to see any child who does not hit developmental milestones on the early side as "having problems that require intervention." I do not agree with this. Most children do not need intervention to achieve. I do not think parents should ignore red flags - but I do not think "not hitting a milestone early on" is a redflag.
As per whether or not interventions are harmful - well, that depends on the intervention, the way the parent communicates such things, and how the particular child internalises such things. At a minimum there is a cost to interventions - both of money and of time. I am not anti-intervention, but I sure as heck would not seek one without real red flags.
FWIW, I am not judging your decision to seek early intervention if you felt called to do so, as I do not judge those who decide not to go the early intervention route. Parents get to make the decision.
ETA: And I do know unschooled high school aged kids that can't read. I just don't understand what the parents are thinking. It's one thing to wait until a 6 or 7 year old expresses interest towards reading. It's another thing to allow your child to practically reach adulthood without the ability to read a job application, read the forms for opening a checking account, read the ingredients on foods or recipes in cookbooks. These kids are pretty much unemployable. How has this helped these near-adults?
Interesting. I do not know any teens who cannot read. None. Maybe I am lucky? I do think a parent should intervene with a non-reading teen in whatever way helps the teen to learn to read.
I do wonder how correct you are that they "can't read" though. I don't really feel able to judge the reading levels of people who live outside my house, yk? Some people do not like to read, will not read in public - that does not mean they can't read. I wouldn't put too much stock in a parents musings either - they often come with their own baggage about their children's achievements. Their have been numerous times where I thought my kids might be behind in something, only to talk to parents of schooled friends and realise that they were not. Lastly (and i am not saying you are doing this) I think USing has a bit of a bad rap in some corners. I have seen people online blow-up statement of concern into "Johnny can't read!!!! How is he to get a job??" without fully fleshing out the situation. There is a knee jerk reaction on the part of non-USers to jump to the worst conclusion when it comes to USing.
Edited by purslaine - 10/9/11 at 6:41am