You know how sometimes when you are talking to someone, you can tell they are really not listening to you but are instead very distracted by something else about you, like your earrings, or your freckles, or the hair growing out of your nose? Their face might be pointed in your direction, but you know you really don't have their attention. (Hold that thought; it will come into play later.)
And you know how sometimes when you are having a conversation with someone, you notice them looking at a particular feature of yours, like your third eyebrow, or the toothpaste dried in the corner of your mouth, or the huge zit on your nose, and you know they are thinking, "Holy CRAP!" but neither of you says anything about it? That's social skills in action. (You need to know that for this post.)
We were in a meeting at school; myself, a parent, his 6th grade daughter, Kelly, Principal Awesome, a regular education teacher, and a specialist whom I will call Mrs. Nice.
It was this child's IEP meeting. IEP meetings are held annually to discuss the child's progress toward annual academic and/or behavioral goals created the previous year, among other things. As stated in previous posts, Kelly had issues that were mainly centered around organization and social skills (the lack thereof), not to mention ADHD (medicated.) That said, she was a cutie pie; innocent and oblivious to her [low] social standing in school, and charming, in an odd kind of way.
We had discussed organization and the fact that Kelly had made some progress but had a long way to go. We discussed personal hygiene and set up a plan for her to brush her teeth and hair when she arrived at school each morning. We addressed the fact that she needed to look in the mirror after lunch (and change her food-covered shirt, if necessary). (Hey, I told you she had issues.) Kelly was doing pretty well in the meeting, especially considering it was after a long day of school and had gone on for almost an hour now; she was only a little fidgety and was mostly paying attention. Finally, I brought up the subject of socialization skills. Kelly inquired, "What are those?"
Mrs. Nice replied, "What an excellent question! Social skills are...."
and right in the middle of her sentence, Kelly (who is looking directly at Mrs. Nice) cuts her off with a very loud,
"Is that a fake tooth?!"
And, God bless her, Mrs. Nice (who is momentarily mortified but recovers) replies, "Yes, it is," and then continues what she had been saying.
Not surprisingly, Mrs. Nice did not take the opportunity to call Kelly out on her rude behavior. She was too embarrassed, understandably. (I took care of that, later.)