Friday, January 16, 2009

I teach a class on Social Thinking to 3 kiddos with Asperger's Syndrome. The kiddos are extremely literal and very earnest in their social awkwardness. Most days, they are the highlight of my day. In November, as part of the election in our school, every child got to vote for President, Governor and then they got to vote for a charity to donate all our collected pennies (over $270~go figure!).

I was meeting with my guys and I thought I would help them get ready to vote. I explained the whole penny/charity thing and told them that their choices for the charity were: the Humane Society, the Refugee Resettlement Program, or the Willisburg Food Shelf. So I ask the first kiddo "Which one do you think you'll vote for?"

"Well...(about 5 minutes go by while he thinks) I think I really care about animals and I think that I will vote for the Humane society"

"That's awesome social thinking; you are really thinking about the things you care about and how to match this charity with things you care about, nice job" I turn and ask the other kiddo "What do you think you'll vote for?"

"Umm, I think the Shaw's in Willisburg. You know, the one with the Hebrew National hot dogs and the triskets" He replied looking quite pleased with himself.

I just kind of stared at him....what the hell was this kid talking about? Then it dawned on me. I called it "the Food Shelf". He was voting for his favorite shelf, you know the one with hot dogs and triskets.


For Myself said...

That literal interpretation of things is so charming in some ways. It's amazing how many things are misinterpreted to people who go through their lives that way.

Smart Mouth Broad said...

That literally made me smile.

mel carroll said...

Again you cracked me up! My kids are aspies and we live in a literal world, where pots can't call kettles black or any other cliche, unless I'm in an explaining mood.
Once talking about his friends and making weekend plans, I asked my son if he thought of himself as a loner. He thought a bit and said no, I'd never loan money to anyone else. It's hard not to laugh, and thank goodness he doesn't mind.

The tangents never end, and I have learned to wait, and wait for an answer to a literal question and try never to ask a rhetorical one!