Ericka Scott

The Wango Tango, Crazy Arguing, and Selective Hearing
Friday, November 26th, 2010
Filed under A Writer's Life

I received a note in the mail from the school district referring my RAD*let for audio/visual assessment

On a daily basis, I spend a lot of time saying my son’s name, yelling for his attention, while he remains focused on the computer, television, etc. I’m not fooled. The child is not deaf. For instance, today at lunch, since I’m not “really” supposed to eat french fries, I limit myself to the baglers and what I can beg off the kids. Drama Teen gave me three and I looked at Inertia Boy. He had three left. So, I jokingly said, “Sissy gave me three, now you can give me three.” He suddenly adopted sudden stillness. He’d heard me — no question about that. He then ate his three french fries as quickly as he could. No, the child is not hard of hearing. However, I can see why a desperate teacher might grasp at that straw.

Inertia Boy wears glasses. We bought him a croakie to hold them on his face…but usually, he looks like he’s been in a fight with them hanging off one ear or totally down on the end of his nose while he looks over them. When we took him for an eye exam, the physician received no cooperation. Inertia Boy wouldn’t read the eye chart (even the kid-one with pictures instead of letters). They used some sort of magic machine and determined that he had terrible astigmatism. Adjusted the eye thing to compensate and still got no cooperation out of Inertia Boy as to whether he could see better or not. So, are the glasses the correct prescription or not? Beats me.

Over the past two weeks, the Wango Tango, that lovely temper tantrum (complete with throwing himself on the ground and wetting himself, just for novelty and variation) has been lurking just below the surface. I know a lot of it had to do with the stress of the upcoming holiday. RADlet’s don’t like change…(thus his nickname)… plus we kicked off the week with a trip to the dentist. The regular dentist. Not the special (and very expensive) dentist who has a volcano and games in the waiting room and did NOTHING different than the regular dentist. They cleaned his teeth. No drugs, no happy gas, just a little boy feeling “special”. If it hadn’t cost the equivalent of the entire family getting tickets to Disneyland (and also feeling special), I’d have sent him there again. To boot, he pea’d all over the floor in the dentist’s bathroom, just for good measure. Sigh.

Then there is the crazy arguing. Anytime he is given his least favorite answer “No,” he hauls out the bad attitude and wears it. Cause and effect doesn’t sink in. Just because he repeats the same question 100 times with little variation (at the top of his lungs and with true emotion ringing in his voice) doesn’t mean that the answer will ever change. The only way to stop the cycle is to send him to his room. Happens once a day without fail, twice on a good day.

He reacts t the way a two-year old does. Emotionally, he’s probably stuck right around there. It’s hard to accept when it appears in the body of a seven year old.

I look at the referral for the audio/visual assessment. A poor result would mean a hearing aid and/or a pair of appropriately prescribed glasses. Oh, if only it were that simple…


*RAD is short for reactive attachment disorder


  1. peter

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