I’ve just come across some of my old notes of a conversation between my sister and Frances (who was 3 years old at the time) and I’m practically dying. 😂
Pink Cup Aunt: How do you want your toast this morning?
Frances: In semicircles.
Pink Cup Aunt: I’m not sure I know how to do that.
Frances: It’s a HALF circle…
I love this vintage gem!
Frances: Sarcasm — isn’t that just lying? (Nov. 17/17)
People with ASD can experience difficulty with figurative language. What I have discovered is that “not understanding” can, in a sense, mean “just getting to the bottom line” of the matter with Frances.
Ordinarily, she has difficulty interpreting euphemisms, idioms, gestures, etc. Here, her struggle appears to concern purpose or utility: Why would one use sarcasm? Why does one, oftentimes, use sarcasm as humour? In other words, why is it considered to be funny?
It’s really amazing that, even though she struggles with non-literal language, she is very witty and understands figurative language when it is her own, when she, herself, produces it.
For example, when she was newly six years old and was feeling unwell, she once said:
I’m feeling as sick as a tornado can be loud…Is that a lot? (May 28, 2013)
Frances has always kept me on my feet — in more ways than one — and always at least one step away from knowing everything about her.
She’s absolutely fascinating — I am her mother, after all — and her ability to get straight to the heart of any matter is just one more thing that impresses me.