Monday, August 13, 2007

Jose Francisco, the Precocious

Jose Francisco is a special case; my mom studied child psychology and recognized early on that he had a neurological rarity: his cognitive functions woke up immediately, when most children have them creep into awareness between ages 1-2. His mind was firing all this off while he was still flopping about, unable to effectively move his arms and legs.

Such children can have problems because of the lack of stimuli to a brain that craves it: they can become master manipulators because they quickly learn "I can't move, but I can do things to make others do what I want" and they sometimes "turn off," suffering from lack of stimuli, their brains give up and their cognitive functions reawaken around age 2, which is actually late.

Fortunately for Jose Francisco, with my mother's warning, and the fact that he has three sisters and his mother stays home, he had plenty of stimuli. While we've managed to counter his ability to manipulate for ill, his charisma is incredible; he's charmed 4 to 5yo girls he meets in stores several times, exception one that was just resolute on the idea that 2yo boys are babies and not to be paid attention to. Plus, he charms grown folks too when he wants to.

It's as natural as breathing to him; I've observed his behavior and body language and it's like watching an actor who knows just what to do, intuitively, to get the target person to respond. With his sisters, I have seen him summon 5yo Alejandrita because he knows she listens, and then 7yo Dulce follows because she finds herself without a playmate, and then he asks Dulce to get on a stool to get him something.