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My experience with Autism has taught me that figurative speech is very hard for Nicholas to understand. He doesn’t really follow things like “It’s raining cats and dogs”, or “I feel under the weather today”. He is a visual thinker, so he probably sees actual cats and dogs falling from the sky, or someone under a thunderstorm. For him, “It is really raining a lot today”, or “I am sick” would be better ways to express those situations.
My two “neurotypical” children, however, use figurative speech easily. My son Alec, 8, started a routine at bedtime in order to express “how much” he loves me. He would tell me, “I love you, Mom”, and I would tell him “I love you more!” and he would think about that, then say, “I love you this much” and stretch his arms out as far as they could go. Then I would stretch MY arms out, and say, “ I love you this much times 10”. One night Alec was having trouble finding an amount high enough, so he said, “Mom, you know how many stars there are in the sky? Well I love you all that much and then triple that.” Amazed by his ability to think in such terms, I laughed and said “Wow! Triple stars! I’m not sure I can beat that!”
So ever since, Alec has said “I love you triple stars”. It is such a sweet thing to hear coming out of his mouth. I hope he never stops saying it.
Kaitlyn is younger but she is not one to be outdone. She watched all this and came up with her own cosmic measurement of love, and simply tells me “I love you outer space”. This also makes me laugh out loud and she likes to tell me this not just at bedtime, but often, which often draws quizzical expressions from people... Read more >>