Sarah’s IQ is 152.
She can’t tie her shoes. She never brushes her teeth, changes her clothes, or takes a shower without an army of reminders.
So often, IQ sets the standard for all other expectations. I’ve had school administrators show me the outcomes of testing, compare those to grades, and wonder why there is a significant discrepancy. I’ve had parents document all of the brilliant statements and creations from their child, only to be flabbergasted by the issues Sarah has.
At first, speed is the name of the game. Do it for them because it takes too darn long. Then, parents start to push hard, reminding, reminding, reminding. They try lists, and visuals, and charts. And slowly, over time, apathy or reality or frustration and fatigue set in. Daily living skills slide by the wayside because other, more pressing issues present.
One of the difficult decisions Asperger’s Disorder presents is what to focus on and when. Often the prevailing notion of education focuses on cognitive skills. What is missed align with the core deficits of individuals with Asperger’s Disorder – self-starting, organizational skills, self-advocacy, and self-regulation. While other individuals learn these skills almost implicitly, that same inherent process cannot be said for individuals with Asperger’s Disorder. Therefore, time, effort, and resources must be allocated to make daily living skills as routine as playing a video game. This requires a renegotiation between the skills that typically receive supremacy – cognitive skills that children with Asperger’s Disorder demonstrate many times superbly – and those life skills that are completed for them at life-altering cost.