Autism: Living With A Literal Thinker
It’s a while since I’ve shared a post on autism. Not because I don’t want to, but because sometimes I find it all too much and need to ‘switch off’ to it. That may sound selfish, but walk in my shoes for twenty years and I think you may understand where I’m coming from.
One of the reasons I started sharing stories about having an autistic child was so others in a similar situation could relate. For that and that reason alone, I do feel a little selfish not sharing more about my experiences.
What I found, when we stepped into the world of autism, is there were very few articles, posts, call them what you will, where I felt I could relate.
So maybe I will share a little more often if only help others to understand a little better. If you are a parent with an autistic child there are some really fab blogs out there written by the parents of autistic children too. I recommend reading Catie’s blog Diary Of An Imperfect Mum and Ann’s Rainbows Are Too Beautiful blog.
Now On With Our Story
People with autism tend to think literally. It’s normal for them. Their mind doesn’t compute the unsaid words or they take something said in jest literally. With Gregs, things have to be explained literally, clearly and step by step.
I remember joking with him when he was young, about seeing if he could ‘swim’ to Kalamaki, the other children laughed and rolled their eyes, but Greg’s got in the water and started doggy paddling down the shore.
At first, we let him go, thinking he’s bound to turn back, but he didn’t. We had to run after him and tell him to head back. That was before he was diagnosed as having ASD, but it was that and other happenings that made us realise that Greg’s had a different way of thinking. One of the best descriptions I’ve heard is that his brain is wired differently than most other peoples. I like that description because it’s a simple way to explain it to others.
Now Look At the Photo
What do you see?
A pile of leaves and dead garden matter?
My husband had been in the garden tidying it up. He’d swept the leaves into small piles and the oranges into another. Gregs had the job of picking up the piles.
You see the space to the left of the pile? There was a heap of oranges there. They went to the compost heap. When asked why the leaves were still there on the floor, my son looked at me and replied: “Dad said to pick up the oranges”. Anyone with experience of autism will know that you can’t argue with that.
Living with a literal thinker is testing. When you want things done no step of the process can be left out. Things said in jest have to be carefully worded. There’s no room for off the cuff quips or there could be consequences.
Do you know someone with an ASD? Or maybe you’re on the spectrum yourself? Can you share a similar experience of living with a literal thinker?
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