You are in charge of the process; never give up that control. Seek answers immediately when you have concerns. But do so in the firm knowledge that you should not accept or feel pressured to accept an inaccurate label.
Proceed from a place of knowledge and a clear picture of what you need and want for your child, but do proceed. First off, your feelings are valid. There are instances where persons can be hasty. Happily, there are many more specialists who are there to assist and help and not be hasty. You have power. It is a matter of communication and being clear on what you are looking for in the very beginning.
Speak with your pediatrician. Let them know your concerns and be specific. Do what you need to allow effective and thorough communication with your pediatrician. This may entail arranging a visit just to speak with them about your concerns. Perhaps writing down your concerns and questions is effective for you. However, you most effectively communicate, do that. Your pediatrician will appreciate the specific input.
Let them know:
- Your child is young
- You feel there are extenuating circumstances.
- For now, you are pursuing more information on how you can help your child with talking.
- You are concerned that seeking assistance now, when you have only mild concerns, may result in premature labels or diagnoses that could be detrimental to your child and that you want to avoid that.
- You are not interested in diagnoses but, instead, how to help your child.
- You would like to know more about how to encourage talking in your child; and that your primary interest is not establishing a diagnosis.
- Your concerns are valid and worthwhile to communicate.
If your pediatrician suggests a referral, ask about the process, and if that process meets your concerns. Should the referral be made, speak with the specialist to whom you have been referred prior to them seeing your child. Communicate to them as well what you are hoping to gain and what your concerns are. The specialist should address your concerns. Your parent-wisdom will take it from here. You will get a sense of reassurance and confidence or not. If you do not, you will need a different referral. The likelihood is you will find skilled and compassionate support. You do need to take the initiative, communicate, reach out to referrals before your appointments, and be assured that everyone is clear and on the same page. The fruits of your efforts will be worthwhile.
Never be afraid to discontinue services you do not agree with or make you feel ill at ease (e.g., if you feel your child is being maltreated or subjected to stressful procedures) and never be afraid to refuse to accept labels for which you do not agree. Parents rightfully should protect the rights of their children.