The Distracted Genius

One of my sons, The Genius, has had an individual education plan (IEP) since preschool. His evaluation team report (ETR) indicates autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit disorder (ADD). At the end of his year of preschool, the school psychologist administered an IQ test out of curiosity. He scored low average in receptive/expressive speech and below average in social pragmatics. His overall score was still 139. According to the psychologist, the results were encouraging because the areas in which his score was low are skills that he can learn. Last summer, we completed the evaluation process and he was officially diagnosed with ASD. I am certain that he also has ADD, but I am putting off the diagnostic process.

The Genius is in third grade this year. It is a challenge to get him to complete his homework. The other day, I decided to make a list of things that distracted him. There were eight things within ten minutes!

Things were going well until he needed a bathroom break. While he was upstairs, the electricity went off. This sent all five of the children in the house into a panic. I was in the kitchen preparing to fry some chicken. There was screaming and fumbling as they all wandered around trying to find me. The electricity came back on a few moments later, but the damage had been done. He had a difficult time focusing from then on. Here is the list of distractions:

  1. The bruise on his shin
  2. Food stuck between his teeth
  3. An itch behind his ear
  4. The skin peeling off of his perpetually chapped lips (thank goodness for medicated lip balm)
  5. The movie playing two rooms away
  6. The flour on my fingers (from frying chicken)
  7. The overhead light blinking
  8. (and my personal favorite) the way I said “no no no no” in response to an incorrect answer on his math homework. It prompted him to pound a beat on the table and begin singing “Here Comes the Hotstepper” by Ini Kamoze.



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