Recently Mr. Sensitive was in one of our many medical appointments with a pediatrician. The doctor knew of Mr. Sensitive’s struggles in school and asked how things were going. I said things were looking better since the Winter Break and mentioned that we went to the Ontario Science Centre four days in a row (check On Being an Expert for details on this one).
The doctor, being analytical, asked what happened before the Winter Break.
Weird eye tic, sudden onset of bedwetting and extreme anxiety and behavioural challenges was not the answer she was expecting. (You can check this one for more)
The conversation with the genuinely perplexed doctor went as follows:
“Academically, how’s he doing?” she asked.
“He’s at the bottom of the class, slated for a reading recovery program next year, and struggling with letter recognition.”
“But he’s doing better?” she asked, visibly puzzled.
“He still can’t read. But he’s more confident.”
“He’s more confident? So what happened at the Science Centre?”
I explained that among the many different areas, we looked at 60 or so rocks, spanning 4 billion years of history, and that Mr. Sensitive can identify the characteristics of most of them.
The doctor was stunned, “Rocks?”
“Yes, he can tell you the minerals in this one, and that another one contains bacteria colonies.”
“Bacteria?” she says, shocked, “He knows about bacteria?”
I hedged, “Well, he doesn’t know the difference between viruses and bacteria because he’s only five, but he knows about some different types and antibodies and that kind of thing. He doesn’t really know cell structure yet.”
“But he knows about bacteria?”
“He was into bacteria and the digestive system this fall, so we watched a lot of movies and looked at pictures of them. We explained things to him. He talks about Salmonella to Dr. Z and likes pictures of E.Coli.”
Shaking her head, she asks “How does he know about the rocks then?”
“We read him the all cards on the first day. The second day he remembered about 30 of them.”