My Absent-Minded Professor

The thing that amazes me about my daughter is how incredibly perceptive she is one minute and how incredibly out-of-it she is another minute! In 20 years, I'm sure her picture will be in the dictionary under absent-minded professor (assuming that there was a dictionary listing for that term, of course!).

A great example of how perceptive she can be was this past Sunday. We had just gotten back from taking a tour of an amazing summer camp. As she was sitting at the table, having a snack as I was skimming through all the camp literature I had picked up. One of these items was a listing of "special events" which pretty much listed the special thing they did each day at camp. I think I look at that for all of 30 seconds.

I didn't think my daughter was even paying attention to what I was looking through until a couple of hours later when she asked what I did with the Special Events Calendar. I had no idea what she was talking about. I asked her if it was something she brought home from school. She looked at me like I was an idiot and explained it was one of the papers I obtained from the camp. I then made the mistake of telling her it looked like she was going to the camp for a couple of sessions on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays. She said in a slightly disappointed tone, "But there were no moons on those days!" I had no clue what she was talking about. When I found the Special Events Calendar, I realized that there were three Saturdays with pictures of moons, indicating days that had camp-outs scheduled for the older campers. This blew me away, that she noticed this from an upside-down perspective and took it all in in a matter of a few moments.

However, the next day, it was painful to watch her dress for school. I had come to her room after emptying the dishwasher to find that she had only put her pants on. "I was distracted!" she said when she saw the look of surprise on my face. Then I watched her put one sock on, while forgetting to put on the other sock. Next, she started to put her shirt on, while her pajama top was still on. She noticed this, so she stopped putting her top on, unbuttoned one button on her pajama top, then noticed she didn't put a sock on one of her feet. So, she stopped buttoning her pajama top, and put her other sock on. Then she put her shirt on over her head, not realizing that her pajama top was still on! She realized this when she was about to put her arms through the sleeves. So, she took her shirt off, took her pajama top off, then put her shirt on. I thought I was going to start pulling my hair out! Yikes!

We once asked a psychologist who is a pretty famous expert in the autism field if our daughter's absent-mindedness would ever go away. She wasn't optimistic. She also wasn't certain the autism was fueling the absent-mindedness. She thought it was possible that it was more a byproduct of our daughter's intelligence. Here's hoping that the absent-mindedness improves with age. It can be pretty disconcerting to see!


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