A calling ...

"We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims."

"Make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone."

- Buckminster Fuller

Sunday, December 4, 2011

King Boo

            As an 8th grade student at George Lucas Middle School, Boo nearly made the Honor Roll during the first quarter, since he earned A’s and B’s in English, Honors World History, Honors Science, Spanish II, and Advanced Band. Despite earning a 599 on an 8th grade SOL in Math during 7th grade, however, Boo received a C- in Algebra during the first quarter of 8th grade. According to Boo, he avoided offers of after school help from his teacher, because the teacher is “scary.”
According to those who know him best, Boo has always been an unusual child. He has flashed giftedness, but there have always been signs of persistent social and functional delays. His parents and teachers have long suspected that he is a child with ADHD-Inattentive Type, but never took action because his inattentiveness never seemed to harm his academic performance. An only child, Boo’s parents were unsure of how he compared with other children, and were never overly concerned about him because he consistently performed above average on normed assessments and was always a strong performer on criterion-based tests.
After learning that Boo, a small, shy 7th grader, had been bullied while riding the bus during his entire 7th grade year, and that he had never told anyone, Boo’s parents “came to the realization” that he needed extra support in developing social and functional skills. They hired a professional Life Coach who had come highly recommended by a family member. Rather than taking Halo away, the unsuccessful method the father had been using, Rachel is teaching Boo to self-mange using a behavior contract, with Halo as the reward.
Boo’s assessment data has been consistently inconsistent. According to his Stanford assessment, taken at age 6years, 1 month, Boo was in the 99th percentile on Word Reading (40/40), but his Listening was at the 52nd percentile, noticeably lower in Comprehension, Recreational, Interpretive, and Functional listening domains. His Number Sense and Numeration was high average (12/12), with Geometric and Spatial sense at the low end of average (3/11). Boo’s parents were not overly concerned about the 47 point discrepancy between the highest and lowest areas from his first Stanford test. Boo’s 2nd grade NNAT, at 7years, 7 months, revealed similar discrepancies (105 Comprehensive). He was in the high average range in Pattern Completion and Spatial Visualization and the very low range in Reasoning by Analogy. Believing that Boo was obviously Gifted and Talented, Boo’s 5th grade teacher had Boo take the NNAT. Once again, he was deemed ineligible for the GT program. His Composite score of 111 was unremarkable, but nobody bothered to take a closer look at the discrepancies in the data.
Boo scored 600’s on his 3rd grade Math and History SOL’s, with unremarkable Reading scores. In 7th grade, Boo earned 599 on the 8th grade Math assessment, but experienced wide discrepancies in performance displayed throughout the year.
Having learned to read at age 3, Boo has always been an unusually fluent reader. His spelling has always been excellent, and he has displayed a consistent ability to recall details. He has flashed an ability to make broad connections and rapidly identify verbal and visual patterns. He has strong mental math skills, with an ability to quickly solve complex problems in his head.
Boo first displayed a talent for performing when he grabbed the microphone during a preschool play. In 2009-2010, Boo was voted Class Clown and Most Energetic by his peers. He possesses nearly perfect musical pitch and timing, with a higher than average memory for songs. While Boo avoids practicing his saxaphone, he still manages to win band seating challenges. Boo earned a Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do, progressing through his belts slower than many of his peers, but eventually “getting it.” He earned a Presidential Reward during PE in 5th grade. Boo joined his first baseball team at age 12. Within 3 seasons, after numerous hitting clinics and trips to the batting cage, Boo went from the bottom to the top of the batting order. During this past season, Boo had zero strikeouts, getting on base more than 70% of the time.
The leader of his church’s Youth Group has invited him back to work with some of younger children, because young children like Boo. Although his 4th grade teacher warned his parents that Boo should never have a dog, because “he lacks empathy,” Boo is scheduled to volunteer at a local animal shelter.
Boo’s reading comprehension scores have been consistently unremarkable. Despite learning to read at age 3, Boo has rarely ever read just for fun. Boo’s parents and various teachers have long suspected that Boo is a person with ADHD-Inattentive Type, but since Boo has always performed better than average academically, he has never been formally diagnosed. Boo has never called a friend on the telephone. On the other hand, Boo has always gotten along well with others in familiar settings such as Tae Kwon Do or on sports teams. He enjoys playing with cousins or when invited to play with peers. He has expressed a desire to do volunteer work with the elderly and read to small children, but Boo is a person with a gaming addiction. According to his parents, Halo seems to have crowded out his needs for anything else in his life.