Imagine your kid has special powers. She can read minds, has penetrating vision, superhuman hearing. She can go a million miles a minute.

That’s my daughter, Kai: hyperactive, dyslexic, autistic.

Kai painting of hands and flowers


Kai Fuse Bead creation


I was ironing her latest Fuse Bead creations tonight — a purple-legged octopus, an orange-and-yellow-tipped star, intricately patterned hearts, a tiny dog with the appropriate number of legs. When did she start being so literal? It snuck up on me. One day she was all Impressionist-meets-Cubist, and now she’s Warhol doing Dayglow beads.

I love to watch her maneuver the world via her unique mixture of personality and senses. She can’t get jokes or hear rhymes, but she perceives others’ emotions and makes accidental music when she horses around on the piano. She doesn’t play organized games with other kids, but fields an imaginary team to play basketball with. So far, she doesn’t notice cattiness and wouldn’t even know how to gang up on another kid.

Deanna Troi portrait

Commander Troi

A lot of people work hard to help her color inside the lines. But I have to tell you I’m a bit sad. It’s like her imagination is being tamed, blinders put on, facts piled and feelings drained. What if the parents of Deanna Troi had worked out an IEP for her while she was in elementary school and never let her exercise the powers that made her an excellent empath for Capt. Jean Luc Picard on the USS Enterprise?

OK, I said “a bit” sad. I truthfully am relieved to see her find tactics to adapt. I want her to be happy and that comes easier if you know what makes other people happy. And I’m not proud to say that when I see her progress academically I congratulate myself that I’m not raising a dummy — shameful because I know her brain circuitry and perceiving antennae are just different, not inferior.

Still … Can she keep those special powers?

There is 1 comment so far

  • Angeline
    9 years ago

    Of course she can keep those special powers…. Me congratulate you too that you’re not raising a dummy — shameful because her brain circuitry and perceiving antennae are just different, not inferior.
    I always encourage My little one by telling him the profile of Thomas Edison and Bill Gates and so on.. those famous people with dyslexic, Cher also one of them. If they can be one why not ours!!!

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