Once again Jip has hurt a child in the circle. For the third time in one week. While the teacher is reading aloud, Jip starts yelling, making it nearly impossible for the other children to follow the story. When teacher Jill tells the boy to stop shouting, he looks at her defiantly. “No, I won’t stop”, three-and-a-half-year-old Jip says in a self-assured way and he simply continues. In a mere couple of weeks, the toddler has turned into a badly-behaved child.
“We still don’t know what the child has…”, told me a teacher about the difficulties she was experiencing with a child who demonstrated behavioural problems. That sentence kept me wondering. Gathering information about what the child “has”, i.e., trying to know “his/her” diagnosis, underlies a genuine concern. But are those difficulties due primarily to something he/she “has”? To what extent knowing the diagnosis is essential to plan interventions at home, daycare or kindergarten?