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We quite often get asked by parents about whether they should get their child analysed by an educational psychologist, because the school has said that they are different to the norm in some way.

It is often a question of how they interact with other children.

All I can give is my opinion on this, which is that it is fine for children to be different, unless it is causing the child discomfort themselves. Usually it is only the observers who are uncomfortable about the issue, not the child.

For instance, if a child is having social difficulties and the child is complaining about it, it is good to work at helping the child through that. If it is just the teachers commenting that he/she “often plays alone”, I believe that is fine if that is what your child wants to do.

My oldest son often liked to play his own games in the playground. It drove some of his friends to distraction, because they wanted to be involved! But he didn’t like the competitive and sometimes lightly domineering way a lot of children play. So he often chose to do his own thing.

And he is fine! He is now a quite normal, gregarious and sociable adult, doing very well.

So, generally, I would suggest only intervening with a child’s education or behaviour patterns if you are absolutely sure you need to for the child’s sake. If the intervention is just to make everyone else feel happier, then I would say it is risky. Where possible we should celebrate the diversity of everyone’s individual strengths, weaknesses and quirks, rather than pushing people into some identikit formula.

David Morgan is CEO of Oxford Learning Solutions, publisher of the Easyread System. Easyread is an online phonics course that helps highly visual and dyslexic children improve their reading through short daily lessons.