Excited, I followed Mother the day I turned 5 and sat in a huge classroom with about 1,000 other noisy little humans, and promptly spaced out. A successful day involved eating my lunch and getting home without being accosted by either friend or foe. Autism: It’s a sort of invisible stretchy membrane that prevents a lot of stuff getting transmitted either way.
They kept me in that class for two years; told my mother I was intellectually impaired. But enough teachers spied the genius lurking behind the bushes. Those genius teachers found ways to draw out what was there (I was an art prodigy) and gradually my wheels engaged (never perfectly, for mine spun too fast for whatever track they put me on). I finished high school Dux Math & Science. Some of my friends became doctors (the girls did!).
[Fast-forward some 35 years]
My son seemed hopeless. At 3, 4 and 5, teaching him to read became a battle that he always won (and I lost, so I just resumed reading him high-school text books) and he was finally assessed as being severely dyslexic (*and* with dysgraphia). “He’ll probably never read for pleasure,”said the assessor, “He may never read at all.”
But my son stood listening to the expert that day, just out of our sight, and the next day he was gazing determinedly into a book. Within a month he was reading Harry Potter. Max crossed some ten years of education in the space of five weeks.
Take heart. We all travel at different speeds *and* wavelengths, but sadly, Education still manages to transmit on only one. Having the Smarts sure helps — it can bridge a lot of gaps given time — and so does determination, or even better: a Sense of Direction; a Calling. I know this because I never had either and spent my life in a ship with a lot of sails (and a crew that could reconfigure them at will) but with no chart, no compass, and a captain too prone to the cry of sirens.
In the end, and to my surprise, I became a (moderately) successful writer.
[EXPLANATION: – this short piece was in response to an article on Medium. The article is right here: https://medium.com/synapse/too-dumb-to-be-a-doctor-2aa51d577e8b#.3kxnm4v26
Medium seems to be a place with some really high-end writers from many fields (at least they’re the ones that get their stuff featured every day).
Medium is right here: https://medium.com/