Monday, April 18, 2011

My Sorta Savant: She'll Put a Spell On You

I've been seeing a lot of blog posts lately about what people should and shouldn't say to parents of children with autism.  One of the "don'ts" was asking which savant-like talent your autistic child has.  I considered how I would react if I was asked that question, and I think that I would be less offended than worried that they were casing out kids to stuff into a sack and take to Vegas.

I think that the closest Audrey comes to having a savant-caliber ability is her spelling.  She is a crazy kick-ass speller.  I'm not entirely ready to chalk this up to autism, however.  You see, I was the 2nd grade spelling champ for my archdiocese back in the day.  It ain't bragging if it's true yo.

Audrey's special talent will, unfortunately, not make us rich anytime soon.  But it has over the years become a bit of a party game.  I can remember going as far back as when she was just 2...she could barely even say a few words, but she could spell like nobody's business.

Recently, my in-laws were visiting from out of town and started asking her to spell words.  They started with words like "grandpa" and "wine". (Editor's note: These are two completely random words, and this is not to insinuate that they go together in any way.  In summary:  Random words.  Not insinuating.  Not at all.)  

What I got when I searched on
"spelling trophies" in Google images
Pfft.  Those words were like batting practice for her.  They escalated to words with silent letters and whatever you call those letter combinations that make some unphonetic sound like "laugh", "spaghetti", and "telephone".  I mean, it's not like she can spell onomatopoeia or anything.  (Editor's note:  I had to look that up.)  But she can spell a lot of words that you wouldn't think she could.

She'll bring spelling worksheets home from school and they are most always 100%.  One time she had one marked wrong and I honestly could not figure out why.  I thought that there'd been a mistake and they were just trying to make the other kids feel better about themselves.  The word was artic.  As in cold.  It's apparently supposed to have another "c" in there somewhere.  Whatevs.  It's not like she'll be writing the word articc very often.

Sometimes she walks around the house spelling and I'm not really paying attention and, even if I am, I'm way too brain dead to figure it out.  One day I actually started writing down the letters and she was spelling "tobacco executive".  Really.

The only thing that I could figure was that she is some sort of hired assassin for an anti-corporate extremist group which at some point abducted her, embedded a microchip in her brain, and sent her signals for who was to be her next target.  Either that or she saw it on TV in a political ad.  One of those.

35 comments:

  1. Love it! Some times I think we all truly have the funniest stories ever. Happy Monday

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  2. My son can't spell very well but he must get that from his dad because I won a spelling bee in 8th grade and I am still always catching other people's spelling mistakes LMAO. BTW - I was wondering why you were showing off someone else's bad boob job.

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  3. Holy Moly! Spelling at 2. What will she come up with next?! Also, are those "spelling trophies" real?

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  4. She needs to tutor Katie. My kid can read, but spells for shit. WTF? Definitely no savant with the spelling over here. Although, she is 100% against the Z for making things plural. That drives her mad.

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  5. And there aren't many things I care if a person says to me...the only thing my ears are going to open for are "want me to babysit?". The rest I don't hear anyway.

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  6. Yeah, the bird has the reading and spelling super powers. Weird.

    Those are some serious spelling trophies. But, I don't think they're "Spelling bees". Get it? Oh. Get it now?

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  7. I don't know what's more funny, the "spelling trophies" or "tobacco executive." I love that your kid can spell like that. Just awesome.

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  8. Coleman has similar spelling super powers. It's a little creepy. I'm still looking for a way to capitalize on it. Scripps? :-)

    Um..the trophies? Just...ewwww...

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  9. Um, I'll have to remember to check your blog later in the day,or at least after my breakfast has fully digested. Those Spelling trophies made me puke a little in my mouth. TMI, I know....

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  10. Tommy used to love to read the Yellow pages! (remember those? are they even still around anymore? lol) Anyhow, we used to have those magnetic letters and numbers on the fridge. Everyday he'd put up a phone number. We started calling them just to see who it was for (he wasn't verbal at that point). Funny stuff! It would be a plumber, a car dealer etc. He still memorizes phone numbers. We check with him first before we bother googling for the number lol

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  11. Nice job, Audrey!

    And Lynn, do know that we'll be scanning your every word for a spelling typo from now on. No one likes a bragger. Ha ha ha.

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  12. Great post, as usual! But LOL at the "spelling trophies"!

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  13. I got these when I typed "spelling trophies" on Google: http://www.google.ca/images?um=1&hl=en&biw=1579&bih=677&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=%22spelling+trophies%22&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=

    -.-

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  14. A little speller, who knew.....and she's cute too boot. It's amazing how they turn out. :)

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  15. Great post. When is Audrey starting her own blog?

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  16. I am an awesome speller. My 9 year old son (not autistic)reads at a 12th grade level but his spelling is still developing.

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  17. I don't get why kids with Autism are often so awesome at spelling? GA is not.Even though she has an amazing memory, she is very literal and can't seem to apply all of the crazy English language spelling rules. She says "but that e does not make any sense! I do not say cupcak(eeee) its just cupcak!"

    Oh, OK and some of it could possibly be genetic.

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  18. I've often wondered what Brian's savant power is...i think he has amazing bowel strength as I've seen him hold it forever if he is not home to use his own toilet- i'm always quite impressed with that...


    seriously though, today he pulled out a movie I know we haven't watched in 3+ months and he was saying all the lines before the characters were...he's got an awesome memory but he only uses it with movies lol

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  19. I have always been awesome speller, too, and it's definitely the autism. I'm just very attuned to visual things. When I was a kid, I just had to see a word once, and I would remember it forevermore.

    I also taught myself to read at 3. (But only taught myself to talk at 2 1/2.) Somehow, I just got the relationship between reading, writing, and expression. To this day, I am much better at writing than speaking (although I'd test normal for speech at this point), and if you want me to remember something, just write it down and I will never, ever forget it. It will follow me into future lives, even.

    Not surprisingly, I've spent most of my adult life working as a writer, editor, and proofreader. Sounds like there might be some proofreading work in Audrey's future! Most people have zero patience for it, so it's a handy skill to have. And you don't exactly have to be a social butterfly to do it.

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  20. @Dani G: I don't get it. Like B cups? Cuz those babies are way beyond Spelling B's.

    @mamafog: As soon as she realizes that I'm blogging about her, I expect a retaliatory blog to be created.

    @Rachel: I love it. That would be an awesome occupation for her. Hopefully she will be as good as grammar as she is at spelling.

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  21. First, very scary spelling trophies. That must be why Americans suck at reading - no one wants to end up with trophies like that. That's my excuse. Oh, and the iPad.

    I figure Teduardo's "special talent" is shitting in demand. Of course, it's not on my demand, but his. And, I can't figure out how to parlay this into a career, unless it could be considered Performance Art.

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  22. Ack about the photo that came up!

    My son isn't the greatest speller. But he knows TONS about the weather. He's obsessed with learning all about it.

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  23. Ugh, Tori Spelling....yuk Not even "trophy" wife.

    I was a great speller. My kids? Not so much. They got dad's genes in that one. Very sad.

    At least you'll never have the torture of going over spelling words for a test over and over again.

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  24. Haha. Well, I can think of a lot of other words Audrey could spell that would be worse than tobacco executive :)

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  25. I'm sure I would be offended if someone actually asked about his "savant" qualities but it hasn't happened. I have been asked, "Well, he'll be really smart then right?" when I told someone he had autism. (sigh)

    Audrey's spelling is awesome! My son also spells - not those big words like Audrey but at 4 he can spell 3 and 4 letter words so I have some difficulty trying to spell things to his dad that I don't want him to hear because he knows what they are before his dad turns the brain on to figure it out!

    And your Google? Try googling "electronic toys" - yeah, I couldn't print what came up for images on that one!

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  26. That's an ability that can come in handy at times! Keep her close by when you blog!

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  27. Agree on the spelling. But not the Spelling. When did THAT happen?

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  28. I can't decide what's better....the Grandpa/Wine combo? The Tobacco Exec or the Tori Spelling pic!! ha!

    *****
    April is Autism Awareness Month. I'm dedicating my blog all month long to Autism.

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  29. She sound like my oldest. He's missed 2 spelling words - ever. He's in 4th grade now. He certainly doesn't get that from my husband or I. I didn't learn good spelling and grammar until high school journalism class. Amazingly, no one thought his knack for being able to identify logos of companies was anything at the age of 3. He could tell you just about any logo of any company. Noooooo, he's not autistic they said. mmhmm. I got to say "I told you so" 5 years later.

    My younger child I don't think has a savant ability in any form. Unless they consider whining in that category. He's an awesome whiner. Especially before 7am and before I've had enough caffeine.

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  30. Together, Jaylen and Audrey could probably pass the 6th grade. He's got math covered and she can do the lit portion.

    PS: How'd you photoshop my teetas on Tori Spelling?

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