Early vs. later intervention for gender non-conforming children

How do you know when the right time for intervention for gender non-conforming children is? Expert on trans-youth health and development, Dr. Johanna Olson, clearly states that the earlier is better from medical and psychological perspectives.
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Early vs. later intervention for gender non-conforming children

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Early intervention for transgender youth is really important. From a medical perspective, if they get treatment earlier, they're going to assimilate better into their authentic gender role. So, going backwards is much more difficult than starting from an early place. So, if I have to reverse unwanted secondary sexual characteristics, it's going to be a harder job for me as a physician, and it's going to be harder ultimately for that young person. If I can start early on, and put them through the puberty that matches their gender identity, they're going to assimilate better, and visually, it'll be easier for them to assimilate. From a psychological perspective, if young people receive treatment earlier, it's an indicator that they're being affirmed in their life. It means that their family is supporting them. It means that their family is supporting them in their social environment at school. It means that their friends are supporting them, generally. And even if they are struggling with a few individuals, overall they're getting an affirmation of their true self from those very important people. The ones who are not affirmed, who have to struggle and end up coming into my clinic at age 18 or older, those people not only have a greater physical challenge, but those young people are also overcoming negative messaging, and self-loathing that they've developed from the time that they were young children.

How do you know when the right time for intervention for gender non-conforming children is? Expert on trans-youth health and development, Dr. Johanna Olson, clearly states that the earlier is better from medical and psychological perspectives.

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Johanna Olson, MD

Medical Director, Center for Transyouth Health and Development, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Johanna Olson, MD is a pediatrician in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and Medical Director of the hospital’s Center for Transyouth Health and Development.  She specializes in the care of transgender youth, gender variant children, youth with HIV, and chronic pain. Board certified in Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Dr. Olson is also an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. She has appeared on ABC's 20/20, The Dr. Phil Show, CNN, Dateline NBC and The Doctors to educate audiences about the needs of transgender youth.

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