Prove Them Wrong
The bottle of pills crashed into the wall as she threw it. She then snatched the angry note from the teacher and tore it to bits before shoving it back into her daughter's backpack.
She knew her daughter well enough to know that she wasn't a troublemaker. She didn't know it at the time, but soon, a simple computer test would provide everyone with the truth.
Life had always been tough for Nallely Sánchez and her family.
She lived in a low-income area, which meant that she didn't have many choices when it came to finding a suitable employment or good schools. She worried about her daughter, Adhara. When she was only three-years-old, Nallely and her husband noticed something odd about her.
Not The Same
Adhara had her own specific way of doing things. At two-years-old, she was able to form full sentences and she seemed to have an obsession with puzzles.
It was around her third birthday that Nallely noticed that something seemed really off. Her communication wasn't what Nallely was told to expect. She became intensely fixated on certain tasks, too.
Nallely paid attention to everything about her baby daughter, as most mothers do.
She spent many nights laying in her bed and thinking about the small differences in behavior between Adhara and other children her age. Once they took her to a doctor, the discovered the truth. Adhara had Asperger’s syndrome.
Holding Back Tears
She held her young daughter as they sat in the living room. She was trying her best not to cry.
She wasn't scared of the diagnosis, she was scared of how the rest of the world would treat Adhara. Starting school was hard on her, as her mother expected it to be. Kids were calling her mean names on a daily basis. When she would come home, her eyes would be red and puffy from how much she had been crying.
Her parents watched in horror and sadness as she slipped into a deep depression. It was all because of what was going on at school.
It wasn't fair, she was only 7-years-old and already hating life. Teachers were complaining that she wasn't paying attention in class and sending her home with angry notes for her parents to read. But her parents acted differently than how the teachers wanted them to.
Not Their Daughter
The notes from teachers made her parents sick to their stomachs. They felt like the person that the teacher was writing about was not their daughter.
But then, the teacher pointed out even more unexpected actions from Adhara.
Hatch A Plan
Adhara was falling asleep in class, almost daily.
When her mom asked her why she was sleeping in class, she would simply shrug her shoulders. She wouldn't talk about it. She started spending all of her time in her bedroom in an attempt to hide from her parents. She didn't want to get into trouble. Nallely knew she had to come up with a plan to stop what was happening.
Executing The Plan
The teacher agreed to let Nalelly set up a camera in her classroom so that they could monitor her behavior. They then set up a camera in Adhara's bedroom to see how she was keeping herself busy.
They could never have guessed what the results would be.
Nallely and her husband were equally confused when they watched the recordings in Adhara's classroom.
At first, Adhara was just swinging her legs back and forth while fidgeting, but soon, it would become a lot more interesting.
Meds Not Working?
Next was staring off into space and only snapping back to reality when the teacher would angrily tell her to pay attention.
It seemed the medication the doctor had prescribed to treat her Asperger’s syndrome wasn’t working – but the pharmacist at their local CVS said that there was no reason it shouldn’t be working. Something was very wrong.
Nallely pulled her daughter into her lap and looked over the video again. This time, she tried to get Adhara to explain what she was doing. But it wasn’t working.
Adhara looked at the video and looked down. She seemed unwilling to pay attention until a lesson on numbers popped up. That’s when something finally sparked.
Adhara sighed and started to trace her fingers along her mother’s arm like she was writing something.
“What are you doing?” she asked. Adhara shrugged again. “Numbers”, she said. Maybe her daughter really did know what was going on at school, but she just wasn’t being taught in a way that she could process. Suddenly, Nallely had an idea.
She told Adhara to stay put as she ran to the study. She grabbed a piece of paper and pen and put Adhara back on her lap. She placed the paper and pen in front of Adhara and asked her to show her.
The moment she put the pen into her little girl’s hands, the shocking truth finally came out.
Following A Hunch
These weren't the numbers the teacher had been writing on the board.
Nallely quickly pulled out her laptop and picked the first site that appeared from her query; kids online math test. Nallely watched as Adhara’s interest immediately piqued. Her little hands grabbed the mouse and keyboard.
Nallely watched her daughter zoom through the questions like they were nothing. Maybe it was far too easy for her age group? She went back to the search bar and typed a math quiz relevant for her age. Again, Nallely watched her daughter make quick work of the test.
Curious, she went back to the search bar once more and typed ‘hard online math test’.
Calling For A Witness
Adhara had become visibly more enthusiastic as she stared at the screen. Nallely hadn’t seen her so interested in something in a long while. The math problems were hard and way above Nallely’s ability.
Her daughter began typing at speed. Nallely yelled for her husband.
Nallely looked almost scared as her husband approached. With wide eyes, she turned her head to her head and the screen, and said, “look at this”.
The couple watched in complete amazement as their daughter appeared to solve math equations far beyond their comprehension. What was happening?
When the final result popped onto the screen, Nallely couldn’t believe her eyes.
Her husband was also left in shock. “Hold on a minute”, he said. He grabbed the mouse and typed in one final experiment into the search bar; ‘online IQ test’. He opened the page. “Here, honey”, he said to Adhara. “Try this”.
No Ordinary Girl
It soon became clear that Adhara was no ordinary girl.
Immediately, they speculated that their daughter wasn’t misbehaving or falling asleep because she was bad or because of her syndrome. She was bored because her IQ was really high! But first, they needed to prove it. They made her take a proper test to get a professional opinion.
A Proper Measurement
Adhara sat at the testing desk, flipping through the pages like someone famished for a challenge.
Even the testers that were overseeing everything looked on with wide eyes and stunned expressions. But it was the final number that would blow everyone away. Adhara had an IQ of 162. But what did that mean compared to other gifted people?
Way Up There
Well, Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking both had an IQ of 160.
Their little girl was a genius! She didn’t need medication or a stricter hand. She just needed something to match how smart she was. It wasn’t long until the world found out and the Sánchez family were in the spotlight.
Adhara soared through high school by the time she turned 8.
It was like life had waved a magic wand and made the depression disappear. Nallely finally could cry tears of joy instead of misery on behalf of her girl’s plight. But now there was also an immense sense of pride as Adhara tackled TWO degrees at the same time - one in industrial engineering in mathematics and one in systems engineering. But what was the girl’s end goal?
Looking To The Stars
While some kids dream of being an astronaut, and then move on to other career ideas, Adhara had the brains and passion to become one.
Universities reach out and offered her scholarships, countries invited her to visit their science and space programs. She even gave a TED talk about her plans for future space study.
Going To Make A Difference
Nallely and her husband watched with beaming smiles as their little girl stood on stage and talked about black holes, mirror theory, and traveling to distant planets. She also revealed her plans for coming inventions, including a smart watch to help parents with children with special needs.
And to think, the first school was angry because she wouldn’t answer what 5x5 was.