Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Forth and Back

I had a long post here about how Baroy hit a wall with N and his homework the other day and ended up saying to me in frustration, almost spitting the words out, "He needs to be in special ed! He needs more help!" And you could just tell that he thought that would hit me as either some kind of insult, or some kind of revelation. I'm not sure which. But all I did was to stare at him for about three seconds and then hiss back, "Well, what the hell do you think I've been talking about all this time?"

But I deleted that post, because trying to explain why that was possibly The Most Infuriating Statement of All Time was taking more patience and finesse than I have right now. Take my word for it. Steam came out of my ears, even while I felt bad for him in some ways, because he sees so much of the world--his son included--in black and white. And, to him, the fact that everyone agrees that those IQ tests that pegged N as borderline retarded were wrong meant that N is fine. Which he isn't. And...urgh. Infuriating.

But because I can't stop thinking about it right now, I'm going to exorcise that conversation with a much-less-aggravating and yet still-illuminating example from tonight's less-annoying homework session, where N had to write sentences for his spelling words. We were dealing with the word soil, and N wanted the sentence to be a question. (He likes writing question marks.)

After thinking for a few moments, what he came up with was, "Is the soil wet? Is the soil dry?"

"You could also just say, 'Is the soil wet or dry?'" I suggested.

He considered that. "That's a good idea," he admitted. "But I'm going to say it like, 'Is the soil dry or wet?'" (Which he did, spelling soil perfectly, because this child--who can't reliably remember the days of the week or add simple numbers or pass a freaking science test--has what is undoubtedly a better-than-90-percent average on his spelling tests.)

And it's not like there's anything wrong with that. But it's just that most people don't say dry or wet. They say wet or dry. Rain or shine. Back and forth.

N, on the other hand, is all about dry or wet and shine or rain and forth and back. And as much as I want to only believe that that's what makes him quirky and wonderful, I also believe that that's what makes him quirky and vulnerable.

He definitely needs more help.


Owens Family Adventures said...

Oh's like walking around with your heart out there for all the world to punch on. Come on over girlfriend and I will fix you a cocktail and we can sigh over hubbies and kids and how THE WORLD JUST CAN'T DO AND BE WHAT WE WANT DARN IT!!!!"
Hang in there...I am sending some warm hugs your way.

Green said...

Really? N was determined borderline retarded? Unless you consistently misquote him, I would bet all the money I'll ever earn that he's not. Whoever came to that conclusion should be fired.

Of *course* kids with learning disabilities are not going to test well on an IQ test that is delivered as if the kid doesn't have any. There are parts that are oral - what if the kid needs to read questions instead of being asked questions, and vice versa?

Ambre said...

I so totally get why you were infuriated, having spent half an hour telling Baroy that, although I agreed that the test wasn't accurate, that didn't mean it wasn't meaningful- the fact that he scored that way means something, even if it does not mean what they think it means ;)

po said...

I totally understand. We live and breathe our kids' issues, trying to get them help, dealing with all the problems, while our spouses CARE and want things to be better and everything, but they are really sitting on the outside of the whole deal. Then they, on occasion, throw in their suggestions and it's like, "Have you NOT been PAYING ATTENTION to all the shit I've been telling you??? HELLOOOOO???"

As for the things that N says that seem "off," well, that sounds like a processing disorder. Which needs help. So, yeah, keep pushing.