Social Question

zensky's avatar

Fluther seems to have attracted many different people over the years with one thing in common - intelligence - at least those who've stayed a while - but is there anyone here who would like to admit to being "slow" or different?

Asked by zensky (13418points) December 20th, 2011

I know it’s a bit wild, out there, personal question – it may raise an eyebrow or even get edited, however, my son has been diagnosed by two different specialists – and has gotten private tutoring from a third (prior to being diagnosed – he received help in certain language skills).

She called him a bit slow.

I don’t want to go into this now – maybe at a future time. Perhaps after some responses.

Have you, or someone very close to you, ever been called “slow”? How did you feel? Do you agree with this? If you do – do you think you are at a disadvantage of some sort in this society?

If you live in New York, you need not reply (LOL – because it’s the fastest craziest place anywhere that I know of – if you can make it there you can make it anywhere – and it’s the place so nice, they named it twice.)

So… slow?

Apologies in advance. Sensitive types need not respond nor PM me, thanks.

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37 Answers

Judi's avatar

I’m like Dory on Finding Nemo. I’m really intuitive about some things and a total airhead about others. The things I do know I know really well though.
Growing up I was always in the top 20% academically, but when it came to coordination I guess you could consider me slow. I’m just now (at 50) overcoming all my hangups about physical agility and athleticism and walked a marathon and have taken up yoga.

jerv's avatar

I was considered “slow” when I was younger. Any form of ASD will do that. Speech therapy, some one-on-one tutoring with the gym teacher to work on my agility, and not caring so much about fitting in and now look at me! :D

Pandora's avatar

Ha! Ha! My kids call me slow all the time when it comes to electronics.
My point is that people have their strengths and weaknesses. Usually weaknesses come from a lack of interests but it doesn’t mean a person is slow. They just don’t really care.

everephebe's avatar

I put the idiot in idiot savant. Idiot = I do it.

whitenoise's avatar

Slow thought is our strongest advantage over animals.

We are – as far as I know – the only species capable of slow thought.

With that I mean, that we are able to centrally process information, look at it from all sides and come up with something new, provocative, creative and adaptive. Because we are slow thinkers. We exchanged speed for quality.

Don’t try to think faster than the fly or the cat. They will have though and even acted by the time we notice.

Our society nowadays puts too much reward on ‘thinking fast’. I am confronted all the time with people that are exremely fast and also quite often extremely wrong. Simplicity allows for speed.

Our world is complex and for every complex problem there are often a multitude of fast, simple – but wrong – answers. We truly need more slow thinkers to come up with the often complex, but uniquely correct answer!

Often I try to be slow and think before I react.
Those that have noticed me more often, will know that doesn’t always work out.

whitenoise's avatar

Ohh… and yes… I have been called slow, as have my two kids in school.

They are pretty intelligent, but indeed not the fastest. We are somewhat like @jerv described.

Not very physical, not very quick, sharp, or whatever you want to call it.

Actually in school they were about to flunk one of my two boys (set of twins) because of being slow. In the end they didn’t and he’s doing fine now. Like his twin brother who shares his speed.

Blackberry's avatar

Everyone has something they are “slow” at. I’m not the best public speaker and I’m slightly socially retarded sometimes lol. I have a tendency to not “get” some jokes and I’m left wondering if the person was serious or not, so they have to explain they were joking, which ruins the joke :/

wilma's avatar

Math, and technical type stuff, I just don’t get it.

linguaphile's avatar

I’ve been called an airhead, idiot ditz, space cadet, hyper, unreliable, annoying, inconsistent, among other terms… but don’t remember ever being called slow. I consistently score in the top 10% on standardized tests—my mom used to call me an intelligent flake until I was diagnosed with ADHD. Pshaw.

There is a part of me that is intense, pensive, analytical, academic, etc. then another part of me that’s all giddy cheerleader, playful and childlike. Either way, I’m very open, WYSIWYG and don’t like to play games. Because of that, I don’t think I’m often taken seriously for what I know and what I can do—it’s been that way for as long as I can remember so, I’m not slow, no, but discounted like slow people often are, yes.

I’ve wondered often how to bypass that but I might be missing something on a pragmatic level? So I do feel slow when I miss things.

comity's avatar

I had children who had mild Dyslexia. Geniuses in some areas, but spelling and learning languages was difficult for them. I was also diagnosed to have it at the time (so were many in those days). I’m terrible in math, but OK in writing, acting, public speaking, etc. I guess we all have our strengths and weaknesses. And those labeled slow, weren’t always. Did your son have any strengths to speak of?

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I probably appear to be slow when I’m talking to unfamiliar people face-to-face, because for whatever reason, I can’t articulate my thoughts in person as well, unless I really know the person well.

I’m also “slow” when it comes to many technical things and vehicle maintenance.

I don’t know if it would be considered “slow”, but I’m a fairly non-observant person when it comes to tangible objects. Example: As a teen, I had not noticed how many trees were in our front yard, and one afternoon my stepdad was putting landscaping timbers around the trees. They weren’t enormous trees, though,so it seemed quite feasible that he had bought new ones to put in, and I called my mom to tell her, “Hey, I think Dad put in some new trees”. When she got home, she saw that he had just “decorated” with landscaping timbers and she and Dad had a big laugh over my obvious lack of observation. They still tease me “Hey, I really think those new trees are taking hold nicely, don’t you?” It cracks me up, because I really am that unobservant sometimes.

comity's avatar

Also, it depends on who tells you your child is slow or different and how one responds to the situation. Look how many famous people had Dyslexia and managed to succeed then think about the ones who didn’t and wonder why?

OpryLeigh's avatar

I don’t consider myself to be intelligent, maybe knowledgable in certain, limited areas but not intelligent (I wouldn’t call myself slow though). I have always loved asking and answering questions though and like expressing my opinion in certain subjects and I think that’s what makes me similar to everyone here.

filmfann's avatar

Can you ask this question again, only slower?

gailcalled's avatar

I think that “slow” is a lazy and perforative and very unhelpful term. We all, I am sure, have areas where we would benefit from some tutoring.

Make sure that the diagnosis is more subtle and more sophisticated and then say “Thank-you.”

My kids were off-the chart with their verbal and language skills (as was I) but dolts in their science and math courses. I had my daughter tutored in order to survive hs algebra, trig and geometry.

@zensky: Once you recover from your initial surprise, consider it a gift for your son. Better now, when remediation is possible, than when he is an adult with a less malleable brain.

Paradox25's avatar

My interests were always different from others, both while as a kid and even now. This has always made it difficult to for me to find a comfort zone around others. I’ve also always sucked in group situations and I’ve always learnt or trained better just by myself. I would say I’m also a slow learner and (except for certain things) most people usually blow past me in the beginning, however, I usually end up performing a task/skill much better than my counterparts in the end.

I guess what I’m trying to say here is that I’m usually a slow learner (though not with everything) respective to most others. However when I do finally start to comprehend how to do something (if the motivation is there) I usually end up being the best at it and blow past most others who got off to a quicker start than myself. Personally I think that terms like ‘slow’ or ‘different’ are relative and not absolute according to each individual’s motivations and needs.

Mariah's avatar

I’m not slow when it comes to “book smarts” but I pretty much just lack “street smarts” altogether. I had a teacher tell me once I had no common sense. :|

jerv's avatar

@Mariah Nor did many of the guys I studied nuclear propulsion with in my Navy days.

Blackberry's avatar

@jerv @Mariah It seems to be some stereotype that “book smart” people lack a certain amount of common sense. So whenever I meet someone like this, I’ll just assume they’re very smart otherwise :)

gailcalled's avatar

edit; perjorative and not perforative.

Sunny2's avatar

My brain is definitely not as quick as it once was. It’s called ‘getting old,’ and I don’t like it.

Paradox25's avatar

@Mariah @jerv Actually it takes a great deal of ‘common sense’ to be booksmart. There is no such thing as being booksmart vs having common sense because in the end it all comes down to what we are motivated to aspire to. If one is not street smart it is likely because that person deep down is just not motivated to be that way. We can’t be great at everything so there is a bit of sacrifice when it comes choosing one thing over another regardless of what we think.

smilingheart1's avatar

My son was labelled “cautious” in Kindergarten. It was stated that he was among the 10% of children who just hung back and wouldn’t mix and were not confident. He was labelled “slow” by grade 4 and had aptitude tests that supported his “not getting it.” He continued on through the school system but with lots of support from his dad and uncle in the form of tutelage. One of his teachers actually abused him telling him to look forward to a career working for Bubbles Car Wash. With much support, he completed high school with good enough grades to enter post graduate studies. In the end he came out with an Arts degree and worked days in a law firm’s mail room and volunteering three evenings a week with an ESL program in a school district. He worked so well with the adult students assisting them in English intro that he was asked to join the contractor staff. He now is employed there on a full time contract basis.

The thing that really amazes me is the combination adult he has become. By combination I mean he has the ability to think and express himself now like a lawyer (no kidding) and yet has a simplicity about his everyday family life like Jethro Beaudine from The Beverly Hillbillies to the point where one wonders if he isn’t ten years behind his peers at times!

sneezedisease's avatar

Yes. I’m an idiot.

laineybug's avatar

I might be book smart, and a quick learner, but when it comes to using my knowledge I can be pretty slow. I feel like at times I have a speech impediment but really I just talk too fast for my brain sometimes. I don’t always have complete control over my hands though,which some people might consider slow. It surprises me that I can even draw and play clarinet.

jerv's avatar

@Paradox25 Intelligence and common sense are not mutually exclusive. However, social skills are something entirely different. They require a totally different type of intuition from knowing not to stock a fork in a wall outlet. It should go without saying that measuring either intelligence or common sense requires some form of communication (a social skill) but you can’t passa test if you don’t understand the question, nor can you grade it if you can’t understand the answer.

MilkyWay's avatar

Well, I would consider myself ‘slow’ when it comes to getting jokes. Also, I’m not very street smart and a lot of the language spoken nowadays goes over my head. I have never been told by others that I’m slow though.

AshLeigh's avatar

I can’t do Math at all. Dx

HungryGuy's avatar

I’m not “slow” in the medical sense you mean. But I’ve been told that I’m a personality type called a “processor,” which means that I can’t make snap decisions. I have to “think about things” for a day or two before I can come to an important decision.

And yes, I’m currently a New Yorker :-p

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I’m dyslexic and slow.

zensky's avatar

Thank you all for your posts – I will update you as time goes by. I think no-one is slow – Gailcalled is right – it takes a slow lazy person to label a child slow. HungryGuy – I loved that; he too is a processor – and he usually comes up with the right decision. I am very emotional about this, and being a quick, but rather stupid person myself – I fear I shouldn’t add to this now.

I can’t thank you enough for helping me process this; my furry fluther friends.


linguaphile's avatar

I just thought of this… my daughter is a bright kid, she does okay in school (high in reading, average in math) but she comes home with low marks for behavior, attention and work completedness. It’s frustrating for me to see those marks because I’m not at school to see just why she doesn’t do those tasks well. I see the marks (result) but don’t see the process or environment so I’m not sure how to address this with her at home.

I do get extremely frustrated when she doesn’t seem to be connecting the dots—she seems so spacy sometimes (was that the way I was??). She doesn’t see cause-effect relationships nor does she fill in the blanks/figure things out. It can become exasperating.

The teacher should NOT have called your kid slow, IMO. “Slow” is a generalized word that does not really give anything specific—if your son has something that’s interfering with his learning, then identify what it is. You know about Gardner’s 8 areas of Intellect, right? He has to have one area that helps him learn better than others—if he’s in a verbal-auditory environment, maybe that’s not his area of strength- maybe he needs to learn visually or by using one of the other 7 areas?

Paradox25's avatar

@jerv What I meant was that common sense is not exclusively related to ‘street smarts’ or social skills. I knew of people who could win over any person during a conversation but yet they would be the first to stick a butter knife in an electrical outlet (while grounding themselves) if you told them to. Common sense is just that, common sense. However you have to be knowledgable enough about a topic to apply it.

I worked with a mechanic 15 years ago at a greeting card factory (my first maintenance tech job out of school) and he only had one machine in the entire plant he was responsible for. Also there was nothing difficult about how it ran or rebuilding it. He was on that machine for over 10 years and he never understood how to do the most basic things on it. Obviously he never had the mechanical apptitude to perform his task in a productive way. Could I say that he lacked ‘street smarts’ here? Actually he was great at conversing with others and he was definitely street smart, but to me it seemed he lacked basic common sense respective to his career field.

Everything we are good at requires a different type of intuition. When we are good at something (and I’ll repeat this until the day I die because it is so true) it is because we are motivated enough to be good at it. People who have great social skills do so because they are motivated to be that way. Those who are mechanically inclined are that way because they are motivated to be that way. People who are academically inclined are motivated by academics. I am yet to meet a person who was good at something but wasn’t motivated enough to do so to begin with. Of course there are people who may be skilled at multiple areas of life situations and may be both street smart and academically inclined. We gain common sense through the ability to comprehend our various experiences in life for the most part but the more we want to learn something the better we will understand it.

jerv's avatar

@Paradox25 “I am yet to meet a person who was good at something but wasn’t motivated enough to do so to begin with.”
You never met me then ;)

Judi's avatar

@HungryGuy, I’m just the opposite. I process information to make decisions almost intuitively. Every time I doubt my instincts I make a big mistake.

Ela's avatar

I know I’m not half as intelligent as almost all of the people here…
@linguaphile “I’m not slow, no, but discounted like slow people often are, yes.”
That pretty much nailed it for me.

Scooby's avatar

Slightly dyslexic here, my word association is terrible at times & my spelling can often let me down… Say I’m writing; “To meet someone”. I will often put; “To ‘meat’ someone”. Which can be awkward when it happens :-/
Also I have a lot of problems with grammar so I don’t often use it,, so shoot me! ;-)

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