Friday, June 27, 2008

Metaphorically Speaking

My son's listening range never fails to amaze me. Case in point, the other day was his first day of summer day camp. I picked up a red cheeked and clearly tired boy, overwhelmed I'm sure, cognitiviely and physically from all the newness of the people, the space, the activities, the routine change.

When we got home that afternoon, he couldn't even finish his dinner, so tired was he, and retired to the quiet of his room and proceeded to take a 3 hour nap. Completely out of the norm for Casey. It even knocked me for a loop, I almost didn't know what to do with myself (although I used the time no problem! :0) )

The next day, we arrived again at the little historical one room schoolhouse his camp is stationed in. He bounded into the room, doing his regular circling of the permiter of the room. I jokingly asked one of the counselors "What did you do to that kid? He died when he got home last night. He slept for 3 hours!". She laughed and said she did the same.

Later that afternoon, I once again picked him up. Settled in the car, he began to beg for me to get him some fast food. Teasingly, I said "I don't know, you couldn't even stay up long enough last night to eat!". He thought for a minute and then responded "But I didn't die last night! I want fast food!". It took me about 20 seconds to get over my shock of the comment and recall the use of the metaphor I used that morning pertaining to his exhaustion. I hadn't a clue he had heard me, and really taken aback at his apparant misunderstanding of it. I felt bad and explained as best I could what a metaphor was. I remember someone mentioning that metaphorical speaking is very difficult for naturally literal Autistics to wrap their brains around (there I go again). He seemed to understand after I gave him some examples.

I guess despite my explanations, I need to need to me more careful about my terminology that I use with him, or anyone he's within earshot of hearing me talk to!