Ben is an intelligent young man and has a wider vocabulary than many older adults. He thinks in concrete terms; so we have discovered he does not immediately understand idioms, sarcasm or some phrases that are meant to be funny. For example, he did not understand the phrase, “It’s raining cats and dogs.” Since he is now twenty years old, he has learned to recognize some of the common sayings. It is best to use plain language with him if we want him to completely understand what we are saying.
Communicating with words is still difficult for Ben. Sometimes when we ask him, “What are you doing?” He will quickly say, “Nothing.” It is much easier to say “Nothing” than to use words to describe what he is doing. His short answers would be interpreted as lies by some people. But we have learned that it is much easier for him to say one short word than for him to go into detail. There are times when he is willing to communicate at length and we cherish those times.

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Filed under: Autism

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