Monday, September 20, 2010

Literally Speaking!

A while ago, I did a post on the 12 most common symptoms of Asperger's. One of the symptoms listed was communication difficulties. Children with Asperger's can have very advanced vocabularies, yet have a difficult time having a two-way conversation. One area that they can have a difficult time is with understanding figurative speech. They can take things very literally. For example, if you ask someone with Asperger's what's on their mind, they may touch the top of their head thinking something is sitting up there.

We've been working hard with improving our daughter's conversational speech skills. During her speech therapy sessions, she's been learning to comment on and ask a couple of questions about what someone else talks about. She's also learning to limit her conversations to two main points. But we've also been working on things at home like sarcasm or analogies. For the most part, she's gotten pretty good with understanding and even using different expressions. She also knows when I'm being sarcastic, for the most part. I really exercise this when I'm driving. She knows that when I say, "Nice driving!" about someone, they're not actually driving nicely!

While she's doing well in these areas, I do notice something that she doesn't seem to get. Oftentimes, she'll pretend to be something, like a cat or a dog or Spongebob Squarepants. When she's pretending, she'll say, "I'm Spongebob!" and I'll answer with, "Hello, Spongebob!" She'll then look at me like I'm an idiot and tell me she's not REALLY Spongebob, she's just pretending to be him. I then let her know that I actually know this. I gave birth to her and helped named her. I was just pretending also!

Nevertheless, the next time she's pretend-playing, we still reiterate the same conversation.

I'm hoping one of these days she'll get that I'm in on the pretend play too and don't really think she's some yellow squishy thing that wears bad clothes and isn't too bright! Here's hoping!

13 comments:

  1. sarcasm is rampant at our house... so now that Liam is starting to understand language, we've had to become more careful about it here too... gotta love the Sponge Bob story though :)

    Heather from Acting Balanced

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  2. Audrey has improved on this lately. Her latest thing is wanting me to pretend that she is a baby, which I'm not a fan of because those are some bad memories. She wants me to call her "Baby Audrey" and burp her, etc. I'm too afraid that it will cause a regression! Of course, if SpongeBob is really that dumb, I guess that's not a good one either...

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  3. Wonder if it would help if you introduced your first pretend response:

    Her: "I'm Spongebob!"

    You: "Oh, it's pretend time. I love that. I'll pretend you're Spongebob, too! Hi, Spongebob!"

    (Something similar worked on my very literal child when she was a cat for a year. I mean, she meowed instead of speaking, went around on all fours, and ate butter out of a dish on the floor if no one stopped her. She was very committed to her make-believe catness.)

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  4. oops, blogger ate my last comment, I think. Anyhow, thank you for stopping by my blog earlier - and thank you for doing such a great job with yours. This will help me relate better to my friends with autistic children.

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  5. I used to do the same thing with my mom and friends when I was younger. I'd pretend to be something but get very annoyed if they tried to intrude on my play or take it away from me. In my mind, it was my game and other people would never know the rules. I still feel like this sometimes - it's my world, other people are just living in it!

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  6. Yeah, I took Cabe with me to get a new purse. He brought me a very bright and colorful one. I said "Wow, that's loud". He put it up to his ear and said "I don't hear anything".

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  7. Billy's favorite book used to be this one about the movie "Cars." There was a line in it: "Sally was touched." Billy would repeat this over and over again and each time he said, "Touched," he would poke me right between the eyes. We talked a lot about how this meant a happy feeling but still, every time we read "touched," he would poke me again!

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  8. Sometimes the "being too literal" thing can be so funny.

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  9. aww ..thats awesome that shes getting it..letting you in will certainly come... buy honestly cher.. my hubby still doesn't get my sarcasm......LOL

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  10. Thanks for visiting on my sits day! I think I'm am still reeling from the blog "love"... Check out posts from Amanda Broadfoot on my site. She is a very hilarious and inspiring writer who writes about life with a son with Autism.
    Have a great week!
    Stephanie from www.southernmomentum.com

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  11. Aspie teen has been trying on the sarcasm, too, but he's not quite picking the appropriate moments every time - typical aspie!

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  12. It's fun to read about how your parenting is different from what I experienced. You work so hard to do so much for her.

    You really are a great mom.

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  13. Oh, she is very endearing. I'm sure she will get it soon. My son still corrects me when I try to play along...he'll say "Mommm....I'm not a dog...I'm just pretending!"

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