“Do you have friends at school?”
“Are people mean to you?”
“No. I’m kind of invisible at school.”
Cue meeting with teachers. What the teachers and I agree on is that Noah is incredibly bright. Nearly perfect tcap scores bright. There is no gifted program in middle school, but it wouldn’t matter because he isn’t interested in doing extra work. He can’t sit through one assignment without getting up for half a dozen imaginary needs. We are halfway through the first report card period and he has already used up his bathroom passes. He can’t stay focused on a single task without being redirected several times, but he can focus on an advanced reading level book for hours. In fact, he carries dozens of books with him everywhere he goes.
His teachers report what I already know. They are constantly taking books away from him. He has an A average in all but one of his classes. But, if you look at his daily grades you see missing and half done assignments. It looks like he mentally computes how little he can get away with doing. The class without an A average is the one that is primarily writing based. Noah won’t write. He will stare at a paper, scribble through thoughts instead of erasing, doodle instead of writing and plead that he just can’t write. The teachers insist that there is no writing disability.
I tell the teachers about my conversation with Noah and his invisibility. The teachers assure me that Noah has friends. They agree with me that Noah WANTS to be invisible and is trying to make that wish come true. They also have no idea what to do to help Noah. I suspect they think I am over reacting, but alarm bells are ringing in my head. Of all my children, Noah is the most sensitive and compassionate. He is never angry, always loving. He has always seemed fragile to me. He has a serious bleeding disorder and inherited my migraines. Is he protecting himself from stress? Does he need more attention? Does he need a different school? Is he trying to replace Tommy?