This chapter contends that the arrival of the disabled child disrupts the potential of the child of liberal individualism to figure as a signifier of futurity and promise (Mollow, 2012; Ahmed, 2010; Edelman, 2004). Drawing on Marxist theories of commodification (Marx, 1976; Lukács, 1971), on Jacques Derrida’s deconstruction of the gift (1992) and on recent scholarship in feminist theory, queer theory and disability studies, I dwell on the role of the disabled child in drawing attention to the commodification of the child, childhood and the process of child-rearing itself. I examine the effects of the rhetoric of the child-as-gift. Having set this scene, I turn to the cultural practice of diagnosis, focussing on the performative properties of the ‘diagnostic speech act’. How does the diagnostic speech act, pronounced by the consultant, reframe the disabled child’s future? And what of the pre-verbal child’s experience of this diagnostic scene: where does it lodge in her body? This chapter considers these questions with reference to Judith Butler’s (1997a) work on injurious speech acts, Frantz Fanon’s discussion of the ‘bodily schema’ (1986, p. 110) and Sándor Ferenczi’s (1999, p. 299) concept of ‘introjection of the aggressor’; it also draws on my own experiential knowledge.