sunday stories

Sunday Stories: Mentally Challenged

When I was young (again, the age was pre kindergarden), some group came to the bustling town of Fallon, and they were conducting some kind of free IQ test of children. I am a little hazy on that part of the story. All you need to know is that I was:
1. A child
2. Someone with ‘perceived expertise’ was conducting a test
3. The test was free
4. My mother thought it was a good idea to have me tested
5. I was a shy child
6. I loved the NINJA Turtles (Leonardo specifically)

Here I was, a young boy, waiting to go into some room with a stranger, to be asked a series of questions and complete some simple tasks. As I was waiting, a child that was my same age came into the waiting room. With him he had a complete set of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They must’ve been brand new. Mom tells me that I went over and played with the kid, maybe for a few minutes, then they called me in. As they pulled me away from my new friend with the best toys, I longingly stared back. I didn’t want to leave the TMNT!

I went into the testing center. Not that I can remember what they asked me to do, but I failed. Miserably. They came out and discussed the poor results with my mother. It went something (I would guess) like this:
“Mrs. You son did not respond to any of our request or stimuli.”

“What does that mean?”

“Well, our results indicate that he has some learning deficiencies. He has not progressed to an appropriate intellect. We feel that it would be best for him to attend the local developmental school.”

“What kind of tasks did he not complete? He is a smart boy. Besides, even if he had a ‘learning deficiency’, I can’t afford a school.”

“Your son refused to complete a shape identification activity, he would not speak or look at the administrator. Besides, cost shouldn’t be an issue. He tested so poorly that his transportation and schooling will be free of charge. He qualifies for our most inadequate program.”

It was decided that I would attend the local School of Higher Learning for Underdeveloped Children, or something to that effect. We were picked up and dropped every day by the short bus. I only remember playing with huge inflated balls in a high grass fenced area, washing my hands constantly, glue smell, and having a crush on my teacher.

At the end of the year the teachers were amazed at my progress. I had become a star student. They thought it was a miracle. Mind you, I was being compared against some serious handicapped kids. I probably was used as some case study to get more grant money. I did so well they expedited my schooling and I got out earlier than the others. I was well on my way to becoming story published by PBS.

Mom said she knew I was mentally challenged. But I still wonder why did she sent me off then? Free babysitting?

Leave a Reply