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Abi
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17 Sep 2007, 1:22 am

I have learnt to deal with most of my aspie symptoms but talking thing to literally is something I still find hard to determine. It has often got me into trouble at school because teachers think I’m being cheeky even thou they are aware of my AS.
This are some examples
1) When by philosophy teacher asked my to draw the curtains I thought he was joking because there were no curtains, so I replied “don’t be silly of course I can’t. do you mean you want me to draw a pitcher of some curtains?” After a short detention I asked Him what he was on about and he said “I meant close the blind you idiot” witch I took some offence to.
2) Once I was a bit behind in Art class so my art teacher tolled my to “pull my socks up”. so I bent over and pulled my socks up. This lead to another confusing detention. When I got home I asked my sister why I got a detention. She explained that the art teacher was simply asking me to hurry up.
3) This one often gets me in a pickle (not literally ) once in biology I was drawing a results table in a pencil. My teacher asked the class to put their pen down. I carried on because I was using pencil. My teacher ended up shouting at me “WHY ARE YOU STILL WRITING” of course my reply was but I’m using pencil. Witch lead me to yet another detention.

Do any of you know of a why to know when not to take thing to literally?



17 Sep 2007, 3:20 am

My trick is learning phrases and sentances and the meanings of them. Like one time my office clerk told me he wanted me to go down to MH and beinfg up five or six rollaway beds so I do that and go back to my routine job. But at the end of my shift, he asks me if I made them and I said "no" an he asked me ehy didn't I make them and I told him he never told me to and he said he wanted me to make them and I said I didn't know I was supposed to. he asked me why do I think he asked me to bring up more rollaways and I said "Because we needed more" and he said "He had a reason why he told me to bring them up but why would he tell me to bring them up and not have me make them." He even said I had to use common sense and things get very busy and he can't spoonfeed every words to us employees so we have to know what we are supposed to do. he even said he doesn't have time to explain everything to me and I have been working there long enough I should have known what he meant. I was offended so the moral of the story is I learned next time someone tells me to bring up rollaway beds, make them too just so I won't get in trouble again.

Like when your teacher says, put your pens down, put down whatever you have in your hand just to avoid trouble. When your art teacher tells you to pull your socks up, don't pull them up, when your other teacher tells you to draw the curtains, close them.
As a matter of fact, if anyone says those things, always close the curtains when being told to draw them, never pull up your socks when someone tells you to, put down whatever you have in your hand when someone says put your pen down. That's what I do to avoid misunderstandings. I make a memo of it in my head like I did with when I am told to bring up more rollaways beds, make them too. When I am told to stop that teasing, quit teasing, when I am told at work to check the restrooms, clean them too if needed, cutting corners means short cuts to getting something done quicker, break a leg means good luck.
Just make memos in your head or write them down about what to do whenever someone says something, eg. "put your pen down"=put down whatever you are writing with. "Pull your socks up"=don't pull up your socks. "Draw the curtains"=close them. know what I mean?
I hope my advice will help you deal with that aspie symptom and keep you out of trouble.


Unfortunitly I been told that isn't reading between the lines and then I am told that is reading between the lines.



2ukenkerl
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17 Sep 2007, 5:31 am

likedcalico.

Technically, reading between the lines means seeing soething that isn't there. SO, as I understand it, "pull up your socks" means to get going, do the work, etc... I guess it is because socks can slide down so if you want to start a race, or go someplace, you might actually pull up your socks. So there is no real hidden meaning. Drawing curtains can mean to open/close them, and drawing a bath can mean to fill up a tub. Again, no hidden meaning. I guess that isn't reading between the lines.

Getting a rollaway, as you described, probably IS reading between the lines, because they expected you to make it also. I wasn't there but, if I hadn't asked, I suspect I would have done te same as you. Checking bathrooms also can be considered reading between the lines.

And yeah. I sometimes say writing implement or vehicle to make the meaning clearer. Too many say pen or pencil. In the wrong context, it is always open for debate.

As for being idiots? That IS because they use imprecise language. But WOW! I sometimes am laughed at because I ask "stupid questions". I eve say it is a stupid question. I guess it is to avoid this sort of problem.



Adrie
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17 Sep 2007, 10:26 am

That's happened to me. It doesn't so much anymore, b/c I've learned how to take things, especially all those "figures of speech," but the one I remember most is a few years ago when I saw a teacher in a store and, upon seeing me, she said, "Hi Adrienne! Are your ears burning?" I immediately touched my ears and said, "What? you mean right here?" and she started laughing. Apparently she had just been talking about me, and that's what it means...Never gotten in trouble for not understanding, but worse than not understanding is how stupid I feel when the other person laughs or explains it to me in a condescending way...



digger1
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17 Sep 2007, 10:33 am

during my psych evaluation, she asked me the meanings of some metaphors.

"You shouldn't throw stones in a glass house"

:? why would you live in a glass house?

If you were trapped in a glass house, you'd need a rock.

I guessed it was a greenhouse or something and said it would ruin the ecology of the house.



WillMcC
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17 Sep 2007, 11:04 am

I sometimes misinterpret some phrases, especially ones I've never heard of. My dad once told me to "put my skates on", and I had no idea what he was talking about. I don't skate, and I don't have any either.
I've learned to adapt to some things though



17 Sep 2007, 12:29 pm

My other trick is when someone says something and it doesn't make any sense like someone tells you to put on your skates and you don't have any and why would you need to put them on if you aren't going skating? So I just assume they didn't mean what they said and ignore it or I ask "Huh?" or "What do you mean?"



Cooper
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17 Sep 2007, 12:43 pm

I have the same problem. I know a lot of these kinds of idiomatic expressions from reading so many books as a child, so it seems like I'm being stupid on purpose when I run into one I don't understand. Fortunately, my adviser in college and my current boss are not native English speakers, so they don't use these kinds of phrases very much. In fact, my adviser and I used to trade idioms from our native languages and laugh at how silly the other's were.



marshall
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17 Sep 2007, 8:49 pm

I still stumble with some idioms even when I know what they mean. Some are so utterly ridiculous that I can't get past the fact that the expression makes no sense. It’s like I can’t help but feel a little thrown whenever I hear it.

A perfect example would be "you can't have your cake and eat it too". It would seem that "having" (i.e. obtaining) a piece of cake would be a prerequisite to eating it. That's what I always think when I hear that phrase. If they just reversed it to "you can't eat your cake and have it too" it would make a lot more sense. If you eat the cake it will be gone, thus you can't still have it.

Others I just plain forget because people don’t use them that often.



nirrti_rachelle
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17 Sep 2007, 8:57 pm

I'm more angry at your teachers for knowing you have AS yet giving you detention for not understanding them. And the one who called you an idiot? Well let's just say where I live (it's a rough place), any teacher calling a high school student an "idiot" would get beaten up by the student and his mother. :evil:

I tend to take things literally, too, though not as much as I did when I was younger. I once stayed in the classroom by myself after my 6th grade graduation ceremony because the principal said the gathering with refreshments held afterwards was supposed to be for the students and their parents. My mother didn't show up for the graduation so I thought I couldn't go to the gathering because I didn't have a parent with me. :oops:


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angelene
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17 Sep 2007, 8:58 pm

i just have to learn what each idiom means and file it away for the next time.

but in the mean time, i usually can laugh at myself for not catching them...for example:

my oldst daughter, also autistic, is an accelerated reader. my mom bought her some new books. my mom told her, "There's some new books for you on the table by your grandfather."

and then i asked my mom "When did dad write a book??"

in case you missed it, she meant on the table NEXT to my dad.


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17 Sep 2007, 9:51 pm

reading social cues and understanding idioms are a nightmare! this one time I was at a job oreintation and they asked what to do when a customer was in a hurry...so I replied "stay out of the way" I got laughed at for a good 2 minutes by the instructor :oops:



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17 Sep 2007, 10:34 pm

Quote:
Confused why would you live in a glass house?


I think it would be pretty nice to live in a glass house... like this one:

Image

http://www.matthewlangley.com/blog/uplo ... 709724.jpg


Privacy would be a problem, but this house is located on a big lot with lots of trees and stuff, so your neighbors couldn't see you inside anyways...it would be like being outdoors, but you're really inside...I still wouldn't like anyone throwing stones at my current house though! It has aluminum siding, and it dents easily..." don't throw stones if you live in an aluminum house" though just doesn't sound the same!

Back on topic...

This happened to me a few months ago when I backed my truck of to the loading dock at a job site. The security guard came up to me as I was opening the back doors of the truck and asked "May I help you?" I told her "Sure, I've got a whole truck full of audiovisual equipment I need to take up to the 15th floor" The security guard became pissed. and just said "Before you unload any gear you need to sign in at the mailroom. I'm not unloading your truck for you!" I just felt., but didn't say it.."Well, you ASKED if you could help me! and that's what I needed help with!"



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17 Sep 2007, 11:52 pm

Literal thinking if you ask me makes much more sense to me than non-literal thinking. It has gotten me in trouble before and made people not take me as serious as what I was really being. Like when the clocks fall back an hour and the boss says there's no reason for anyone to be late. My question was, with a quizzical expression, "Well, what if I get in a wreck?" Of course my boss gives me a look and says "Don't be late".

I have a problem with that. So I say "If there's no reason then what do I do if something happens that would normally constitute as a reason any other day?" My boss geniunely thought I was being sarcastic and trying to be funny but I wasn't trying to be funny at all, I was serious.

Stuff like that happend all of my life. Not long after that, about a year and a half ago, I got my Asperger's diagnosis. In order to change my reputation and be taken more seriously I had to remind myself they think differently than I do and hope whatever happens I somehow don't make a fool of myself by taking things too literally. I have to think about what's being said and analyze it more carefully than people I work with realize. I still slip up but not as often I used to. It sucks.



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18 Sep 2007, 9:10 pm

Here's a funny one for you. I just got off the phone with my mom and she told me about the time when I was about 5 or 6 years old and I was sick with a cold. A neighbor boy came over to ask if I could play and my mom told him no, I couldn't play. I got upset and said "But I want to play with Jimmy!! !" and my mom said "But you can't, you don't want to give him your cold, do you?" And I said "But *I* don't want it!" LOL



etg1701
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19 Sep 2007, 1:10 pm

You got detention for misunderstanding the teacher? Sounds like a terrible school to me.