Monday, October 18, 2010

31 for 21: #18 Smarts

This society wants their kids to the be the smartest and the best. The comparisons start early. We want our kids in the "best" daycares and preschools. We watch their grades like hawks. We push them to do their best at T-ball and high school football. We all but over load them in extra curricular activities from the time they can talk and walk. We test their IQ's and make them do flashcards over the summer.

There are some people in this world that have IQ's that are sky high, gifted beyond gifted, that barely function in society. Their intelligence alone affords them full rides to colleges and graduate schools, they however have no commonplace abilities that allow them opportunities in the day-to-day. They have difficulty making friends and they have difficulty holding jobs because their brains are living at a different plane from their bodies. They are often unhappy and wander through life searching for someone who understands them.

There are people whose IQ's are so low that society is horrified that their parents chose to have them, because they cannot possibly have a good quality of life. And yet these same people work multiple jobs, have TONS of friends, and love their life. The world is their oyster because they make the most of their opportunities. They make friends because they see the best in others and want to understand them!

How badly are we mis-judging others? Who really has the best quality of life, here?

Elise has a scary low IQ at present. (Like she should be sitting in the corner staring at nothing.) She is virtually non-verbal on the testing scale, and this skews her results. We had to get a psychological evaluation for a secondary insurance, but I declined to allow the results to be evaluated for her IEP (Individualized Education Plan). These are the kind of numbers that a licensed professional would look at and tell me that my child will have a terrible quality of life and no opportunities.

In real life, however, Elise has a concrete understanding of opportunities unlike anyone I have ever met. She utilizes her time in a way that puts her siblings to shame. She can actively plan as she goes to get maximum results.

For example, I can go the the bathroom and she will utilize those five minutes to get a chair, bring it over to the pantry, get in the door lock, scale the shelves to get her favorite box of crackers, pour it into a cup, put everything back, and snarf down the crackers. The only evidence of this activity being her Wheat Thin-y breath, a random cup with crumbs at the bottom, and a pantry door that is ajar.

I can take a shower and she will get out of the house (we have since put up bolts at the top of the doors), break into the neighbor's house, steal several Frisbees, play with their dog, feed it the loaf of bread she took over, come back in the house, load up a DVD of her choice, change the TV input feed, and push play...with the only evidence the empty bread bag in their yard and the not-our-Frisbees in the magazine rack. (Oh, and lest you think I indulge in long showers, I can shower and dress in less than 10 minutes.)

Elise ate all the leftover desserts from our Stew and Pumpkins Party last night, because I was putting away our laundry and told her to wait 15 minutes til I could make supper. And by all, I mean all. She ate 3 mini cupcakes, with a spoon and a plate. And probably 6 pumpkin sugar cookies with sprinkles. (It makes me absolutely sick to think about eating that much sugar on an empty stomach.) This was done with her brother and sister in the adjoining room, so it must have been done silently, as well, or they would have stopped it, or gotten in on the raid. Opportunistic, doesn't begin to give it the recognition it deserves.

She is not one to miss opportunities. I am confident that this will extend to her future. She can't help but succeed...and surprise anyone who looks at numbers alone.

She likes to dress up in wraps and scarves and tell me that she is a "surprise". Yup, that's pretty much it in a nutshell. As usual, she knows what she's talking about.


  1. Oh this post has me cracking up just visualizing her doing all these things at a race pace so you don't find her literally with her hand in the cookie jar!

    I can slightly relate - my Everett is busy busy busy & he does random stuff all the time with just enough evidence for me to guess at what he was doing :)

  2. Such a great discourse that is "Elise"! She is definitely a "surprise waiting to reveal itself"! Anyone who under estimates what Elise can do had better think again!!

  3. So glad you didn't allow her results to be evaluated in the IEP meeting. The tests do provide valuable information, but cannot tell the whole story. We all have so many strengths that simply do not appear on intelligence tests. Go you!!! This particular blog had me laughing so hard. Thanks!!!

  4. so many adventures she fast forward apparently! How does she do so much is so short a time? It makes me tired just imagining it!

  5. See, Ike has severe speech delays as well - just tested in the 11th percentile. But i have not worried about him because the boy's problem solving skills are so good. What he wants, he gets, and that is a huge sign of intelligence. And Elise is way better than him!

    Sneakiness is always a sign of intelligence.

    IQ test Ischmew tests. Mommas know.