Imagine cuddling up on the couch with Tom. The series finale of your favorite show is on, and he’s watching with you for emotional support. Every time you start to cry, he kisses you on the forehead, and pulls you just a little bit closer.
You don’t get it do you?” She frowned as he cradled his head in his hands, with his hair falling delicately around his fingers.
He went to speak but she cut him off.
“How do you think. Logically. How do you think that you can just give me the world- everything i’ve ever wanted and make me feel like the luckiest girl alive. Then rip it all away from me. In a split second- while simultaneously asking to ‘be friends’? What could possibly make you think that i’d be fine with that decision?”
“I..” He began.
“Don’t you get it?” She cut him off again.
“I was in love. I’m fucking in love with you and somehow i’m expected to stand here right now and pretend it’s not breaking my heart that i’m not kissing you at this second.
What happened? Why don’t you love me too?
With that multiple day educational assessment at UVA of similar quality to that other person’s autism assessment? The therapist who had noticed that things really were not right there and referred me for the comprehensive testing got pissed off enough at the report, that she actually pursued it higher up and my parents got the fees completely refunded. Even they recognized it was that bad, when pressed on it.
I did get the “math dyslexia” recognized–hey, that was the early ‘90s, and that’s how they explained it. I was also on my third run through Algebra I that year (after being put in it a year early), and getting threatened with being pulled off academic track altogether if I didn’t straighten up right quick 😩 But other than that super obvious problem and some truly shitty spatial stuff that apparently wasn’t important? They also pretty much stopped at “omg the highest IQ and some other scores we have ever seen!”
A couple of the team really were gushing like that at the summary meeting, which really came across as super professional at the time. That was extra gross, with how carefully they were not explicitly stating “…and you’re one of Those People! Amazing!!!”, but yeah that’s hard to miss. 😵
There were some huge honking gaps between different areas showing some de facto LDs, as that therapist put it at the time. But, since I only tested out way below average on a few spatial components–as in, like 10th percentile on one specific skill as evaluated–that wasn’t treated as relevant to anything.
The main recommendation offered? I shouldn’t be in high school at all, and my overall performance might magically improve in a more challenging setting! No kidding. How I was even supposed to get there was apparently a minor detail not worth addressing.
A few other more practical accommodations were recommended, including using a laptop to get around my terrible slow painful handwriting–based on the idea that Ultra Brain just kept overdriving my hand’s ability to keep up! Which probably would have actually helped if anyone could have afforded one at roughly the equivalent of over $4000 now. (Just a couple of years before, the first Mac portable was going for around $14000 equivalent now, so yeah.) Being anything but independently wealthy, you can maybe imagine how fast that happened.
Mostly couldn’t resist that opportunity for some old person sticker shock, because jfc how some tech accessibility has changed. But yeah, they didn’t totally ignore some bleedingly obvious problems like that, just came up with some weird and unhelpful explanations. And suggestions about that useful on any practical level.
I mean, I had kind of gotten the Bored Smart Kid Not Applying Themself routine basically forever anyway. But, in retrospect it’s still kind of impressive that a team of actual professionals who do educational assessments for a living at Somewhat Prestigious University Center decided to go with that line officially. Guessing that whatever person up the chain at Esteemed University Center who issued the refund was impressed too, at least.
The therapist who wasn’t letting it go admitted she still had no clue what the overall picture might be, but did do some not quite diagnosing and suggested some accommodations based on the actual testing results. (Autism was not really on the radar at all yet, though that type of testing discrepancy pattern is apparently kinda classic if they know what they’re looking at. As I have since found out.) That was easier to dismiss, of course.
And even though my mom had explained to her just how seriously messed up that official report’s conclusions were, it still did some harm. She kinda wanted to believe it anyway. The whole thing helped fuel more of that weird denial at home that there were any significant problems going on that I couldn’t be expected to smart my way out of without any real backup. Or, indeed, wanting to attribute anything that couldn’t be brushed over that easily to Hopefully Fixable Psych Problems. (Including the executive function, and some language problems where the shame still automatically kicks in when I can’t cover them up so well.) Nothing further was done about the school difficulties, despite some repeated strong urging from that same therapist.
At least nobody at home acted gross and pushy about it in certain ways some other people face. That wasn’t the first round of IQ testing, and much my whole family is full of “underachievers” with a talent for tests. With a lot of signs of ADHD and/or autism, depending on where you look. Funny how that works 🙄 Nothing new in that respect, so it’s not worth making any huge deal about another slight variation on Family Normal. I did end up under some different pressures to perform in ways I just couldn’t keep up, but thankfully not the classic Gifted Wonder pushing outside of school.
I tend to hesitate to even bring up some of this stuff, given how weird I have seen people get over the “omg the highest IQ ever!” BS and some of the assorted bizarre significance which too often gets placed on that. When the main thing it tends to indicate is that the person is good at some standardized testing. Or not so much, as the case may be.
Definitely not trying to set myself up as some kind of Tragically Misunderstood Genius here, or anything like that. Far from it. More to point out just how freaking weird and unhelpful people can get around that stuff, in some ways that can do rather a lot of harm. No matter where on the judgment scale someone might fall there.
Not to mention how much weight some professional opinions deserve. Which started out as the main thrust, before I got more aggravated thinking about the whole experience this many years later. Kids in particular deserve better than that, whatever the unhelpful details may be in their particular cases. And professionals are directly behind some of the worst of it.
Special Agent Mara Jade works for the FBI. The agency learns of a bomb threat during the Miss United States Pageant in Coruscant City by a terrorist who calls himself “Thrawn. “ Mara’s partner and work nemesis, Luke Skywalker, is put in charge of the mission, during which tomboy Mara is to go undercover as one of the contestants.
While at first, the other contestants hate her, she begins to befriend them, especially Miss California, Leia Organa and surprises everyone, including pageant MC, Han Solo, by winning 1st runner up, and in the processing, figuring out the threat and arresting “Thrawn” for his terrorist actions.