Given the controversial nature of the subject matter, I think this Globe and Mail article does a good job of representing the type of treatment offered at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto.
According to this article, gender identity clinic director Ken Zucker is not allowed to speak to the media. However, clinic founder Susan Bradley gave her views along with parents of children treated by the clinic. Quite appropriately, the clinic evaluates each situation and creates an individualized treatment plan. Some kids later transition and some don’t.
The writer, Margaret Wente, provides several illustrative cases. Here’s one:
“They never tried to force my son into something he wasn’t,” one mother told me. Her son had been a hyper-anxious child since birth. In kindergarten he became obsessed with dressing like a girl. The CAMH therapists determined that anxiety, not gender, was the key issue, and advised the parents to discourage their son’s obsession with girls’ clothing. Today, he is a well-adjusted young adult with a girlfriend and no interest in women’s clothes. The mother, who describes herself as “quite liberal” says she would have supported gender change if that had been the right thing to do.
This fits my experience working with such children. In some cases, it is very clear that gender is not the primary issue. Clinical response should not be “one size fits all.”
I hope the legislative effort to stop the work of the clinic is not successful.
For prior posts on Zucker and gender issues in children, see:
Gender identity disorder research: Q & A with Kenneth Zucker
Two families, two approaches to gender identity
60 Minutes Science of Sexual Orientation: An Update from a Mother of Twins
60 Minutes Science of Sexual Orientation: An Update from a Mother of Twins, Part 2