The Enduring Impact of the Diagnosis
Duchenne muscular dystrophy may be diagnosed as early as age 3 at which time the patient is too young to understand what is happening. As the patient grows older, he or she becomes more aware of how different he or she is from other kids and attempts to process the consequences of his or her physical limitations. As movement is a child’s primary mode of communication, children with DMD fail to express themselves through motion effectively which, in turn, brings about feelings of frustration. As the disease escalates and requires even more external assistance, children living with Duchenne muscular dystrophy slowly lose their self-esteem and sense of autonomy leading to self-pity, anxiety, and sometimes anger.