Dinosaurs, literally

One aspect of autism spectrum disorder that affects Frances is difficulty with figurative language or words that are not intended to be interpreted literally. As she ages, the difficulty becomes more pronounced but it doesn’t always involve idioms or euphemisms.

We were recently at an event for children with autism, and Frances was describing her proposed birthday theme of dinosaurs. It seemed like a good time for me to join in the conversation.

Me: We can have lots of dinosaurs at your party…

Frances: What?!?

Me: Sorry, images of dinosaurs.

Even though Frances would know intellectually that I did not intend to have dinosaurs at her party, the fact that I omitted “images of” in that sentence immediately left her thinking that I had said something nonsensical to her.

At any rate, in order to help her, I frequently use idioms, euphemisms, similes and metaphors intentionally in order to build her repertoire of non-literal language. Fortunately, there are also social dictionaries that include figurative language entries which may be of use to her as time goes on.

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The trusty Barbie unit of measure

We’re at the end of a snowstorm which could be winter’s last hurrah. 

Late yesterday afternoon, while explaining the amount of snowfall to Frances, I said, “Oh, it’s less than half a Barbie in depth.”

So, dolls really are everywhere in our life now.

But dinosaurs weren’t pink…Right?

I have two daughters (9 and 13) and the closest I’ve ever come to a non-girly themed celebration was the Backyardigans party that I arranged for Pink Cup Sister’s 4th birthday.

Now Frances, who is obsessed with dolls and horses, has just announced that she wants a dinosaur-themed party to celebrate her 10th birthday!

I’m glad that she has a new area of interest though I strongly suspect we are just going to be seeing dolls of the dinosaur variety.

Well, I almost don’t know how to have a party that isn’t just as pink and as glittery as can be, so this is going to be a challenge for me. (The photo image I’ve done in jest.)

In the past, I would have said that if I ever start blogging about dinosaurs, then I have been taken hostage and I’m crying out for help.

But, here I am arranging a dinosaur party that isn’t pink in any respect.

I will keep you posted.

Possible birthday card?

Yesterday…

Me: How did you know that?

Frances: I read the information, it went to short term memory, and then it was stored as long-term memory.

I love how literal — and very specific/precise — Frances’s answers can be. In this case, she actually explains the process of knowledge acquisition as she understands it… I forget what we were actually talking about!

It’s epic…

One of the best things we’ve done in the past year or so has been to sign up for an ebook subscription service for the kids.

For a monthly charge (pretty minimal), parents can monitor what is being read and even set aside books that they want the kids to read. They also receive a monthly report enumerating the books read (which includes a printable certificate).

Each kid has her own account, collects badges for reaching reading milestones and can favourite books that she really likes.