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bumble
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24 Jan 2014, 3:05 pm

When I think of taking things literally I think about the following examples from my life.

When I was a teenager, I was talking to my mother when she said to me "Cheryl love, (cheryl is my name) could you please change the record?"

Um, well we had one of those old record players (this was in the 80's) and so of course I look at it, realise there is no record on there, and say "Change what record? there isn't a record on there to change". To which my mum replied "Don't be silly love, I meant change the subject, talk about something else!"

Oh well, why didn't she say so then!! !! !! !! !! !! !! !! !! !! !! !! !! !! !! !! !! !! !!

Another time, in my early 30's someone I knew back then used to always greet me with the words "Hello stinky, you smell". Each time he said that I would sniff my armpits and say "no I don't". Eventually he said "you do realise I am teasing you don't you?". Well actually I had not realised no, but on knowing that is what he was doing I went away and thought up my own retort which was "skunk butt" as he had issues digesting certain foods. After this we would greet each other with "hello stinky" and "hey skunk butt". Childish, but it amused the hell of out me.

This is what I think of when they say taking things literally.



btbnnyr
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24 Jan 2014, 3:26 pm

If I thought that someone asked me a move a large heavy object outside the house by myself, then I wouldn't just go right ahead and move it, I'd question whether I really had to move it before I started moving it, and in this process, probably realize that I misinterpreted the request. At least I would ask the person if they really wanted me to move it.


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League_Girl
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24 Jan 2014, 4:16 pm

I remember the time when I would get told I couldn't do something anymore, I wouldn't understand they mean never again, not today, not tomorrow, not next week, never. So I would stop and do it again later. I did whatever came to my head. Sometimes I would think "for the rest of the day" 'sometimes I would think for the rest of the time" and they never told me when I could do it again or how long I shouldn't do it for.

I remember another time being told telling the truth gets you out of trouble and I saw it still got me in trouble so I continued lying. I think my mother meant it gets you into less trouble if you're honest and the consequence isn't as severe. I took it as just as long as I admit to the wrong things I do, I won't have to pay the consequence for it or get any sort of punishment just as long as I say I did it and not lie about it and no telling the truth does not work in everything because if I robbed a bank and confessed I did it, I would still be facing charges. So telling anyone one telling the truth gets you out of trouble is a bunch of bull.

What about the time my mother kept telling me to stop that teasing so I would stop that teasing and do another tease. I didn't know she didn't want me doing any teasing at all because she never told me until we were in Washington and that was like six hours into our road trip going home after we have left my grandparents house in Montana. It took her that long to tell me. I know now when people say "stop that" about anything, they do not mean stop that and do something else annoying. 'Stop that talking" means shut up, not stop talking about the subject and talk about something else or saying "stop that fighting" and mean quit fighting, not stop that fighting and do a different fight.

I remember the time being told to put a spoon in the sink and I did but I didn't know they meant rinse it off and lay it on the counter to dry.

Mom once asked me this year to pick up the dirt pile so I grabbed a dust pan and picked it up and threw it away and Mom then pointed out a few minutes later I didn't pick up the other dirt piles and I said I didn't even know she wanted me to and she said she thought I would help her out. She told me to pick up this dirt here pointing to the pile and I did. She didn't tell me she wanted all the piles picked up.

Oh yeah if someone asked me to move something heavy, I would say it's too heavy for me to move. It might not occur to me I was supposed to ask for help because they didn't tell me to move it out and ask for help.


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mikassyna
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24 Jan 2014, 4:36 pm

League_Girl wrote:
I remember the time when I would get told I couldn't do something anymore, I wouldn't understand they mean never again, not today, not tomorrow, not next week, never. So I would stop and do it again later. I did whatever came to my head. Sometimes I would think "for the rest of the day" 'sometimes I would think for the rest of the time" and they never told me when I could do it again or how long I shouldn't do it for.

I remember another time being told telling the truth gets you out of trouble and I saw it still got me in trouble so I continued lying. I think my mother meant it gets you into less trouble if you're honest and the consequence isn't as severe. I took it as just as long as I admit to the wrong things I do, I won't have to pay the consequence for it or get any sort of punishment just as long as I say I did it and not lie about it and no telling the truth does not work in everything because if I robbed a bank and confessed I did it, I would still be facing charges. So telling anyone one telling the truth gets you out of trouble is a bunch of bull.

What about the time my mother kept telling me to stop that teasing so I would stop that teasing and do another tease. I didn't know she didn't want me doing any teasing at all because she never told me until we were in Washington and that was like six hours into our road trip going home after we have left my grandparents house in Montana. It took her that long to tell me. I know now when people say "stop that" about anything, they do not mean stop that and do something else annoying. 'Stop that talking" means shut up, not stop talking about the subject and talk about something else or saying "stop that fighting" and mean quit fighting, not stop that fighting and do a different fight.

I remember the time being told to put a spoon in the sink and I did but I didn't know they meant rinse it off and lay it on the counter to dry.

Mom once asked me this year to pick up the dirt pile so I grabbed a dust pan and picked it up and threw it away and Mom then pointed out a few minutes later I didn't pick up the other dirt piles and I said I didn't even know she wanted me to and she said she thought I would help her out. She told me to pick up this dirt here pointing to the pile and I did. She didn't tell me she wanted all the piles picked up.

Oh yeah if someone asked me to move something heavy, I would say it's too heavy for me to move. It might not occur to me I was supposed to ask for help because they didn't tell me to move it out and ask for help.


Seriously, I don't see anything wrong with what you interpreted. It sounds to me that those people were highly unspecific in what they expected and expected you to read their highly unspecific minds. I never heard of "put it in the sink" meaning anything other than to "put the object in the sink." I mean, you could get extra credit if you wash it and put it away, but then that person should specifically say, "Wash your dishes please." And if someone specifically points to something and tells you to do something with it, why should one assume that it is to be generalized to the whole vicinity? In fact, I would argue that many people might get mad if you touched any of the other piles of dirt! Why don't people just say what they mean? Why is it that people enjoy making others jump through hoops to ascertain their meaning in every bit of dialogue? Why not just be clear to begin with? And how can anyone expect children to figure out nebulous concepts if they aren't specifically taught? Everyone has their unique unwritten rules and expectations, and it can differ from home to home, from province to province. So why should people think that their nonspecifics will mean something other than what they expressly say to anyone else but themselves? It befuddles the mind! I am VERY specific with my kids as to what I expect them to do and what not to do. If I tell them to put their dishes in the dishwasher, I make sure that I have already explained to them that before they do that, they have to rinse off the detritus before placing it in the dishwasher. I don't let anything go assumed, because I know that's where trouble lies. Why don't more people take the time to do this? Mostly I find it's out of sheer laziness!



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24 Jan 2014, 4:41 pm

I was really embarrassed by my mum on Facebook yesterday. She posted a picture to my wall with a recipe for 1 cookie to make in a cup, and it was one of these shared picture things where it had the description "I love you, Mommy" and "it's sending a hug in a mug" or something like that, and I thought she was sending me a hug over Facebook and saying she loved me.

No, she just wanted to share the damn recipe with me :( I think I took that literally.



League_Girl
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24 Jan 2014, 4:51 pm

mikassyna wrote:
League_Girl wrote:
I remember the time when I would get told I couldn't do something anymore, I wouldn't understand they mean never again, not today, not tomorrow, not next week, never. So I would stop and do it again later. I did whatever came to my head. Sometimes I would think "for the rest of the day" 'sometimes I would think for the rest of the time" and they never told me when I could do it again or how long I shouldn't do it for.

I remember another time being told telling the truth gets you out of trouble and I saw it still got me in trouble so I continued lying. I think my mother meant it gets you into less trouble if you're honest and the consequence isn't as severe. I took it as just as long as I admit to the wrong things I do, I won't have to pay the consequence for it or get any sort of punishment just as long as I say I did it and not lie about it and no telling the truth does not work in everything because if I robbed a bank and confessed I did it, I would still be facing charges. So telling anyone one telling the truth gets you out of trouble is a bunch of bull.

What about the time my mother kept telling me to stop that teasing so I would stop that teasing and do another tease. I didn't know she didn't want me doing any teasing at all because she never told me until we were in Washington and that was like six hours into our road trip going home after we have left my grandparents house in Montana. It took her that long to tell me. I know now when people say "stop that" about anything, they do not mean stop that and do something else annoying. 'Stop that talking" means shut up, not stop talking about the subject and talk about something else or saying "stop that fighting" and mean quit fighting, not stop that fighting and do a different fight.

I remember the time being told to put a spoon in the sink and I did but I didn't know they meant rinse it off and lay it on the counter to dry.

Mom once asked me this year to pick up the dirt pile so I grabbed a dust pan and picked it up and threw it away and Mom then pointed out a few minutes later I didn't pick up the other dirt piles and I said I didn't even know she wanted me to and she said she thought I would help her out. She told me to pick up this dirt here pointing to the pile and I did. She didn't tell me she wanted all the piles picked up.

Oh yeah if someone asked me to move something heavy, I would say it's too heavy for me to move. It might not occur to me I was supposed to ask for help because they didn't tell me to move it out and ask for help.


Seriously, I don't see anything wrong with what you interpreted. It sounds to me that those people were highly unspecific in what they expected and expected you to read their highly unspecific minds. I never heard of "put it in the sink" meaning anything other than to "put the object in the sink." I mean, you could get extra credit if you wash it and put it away, but then that person should specifically say, "Wash your dishes please." And if someone specifically points to something and tells you to do something with it, why should one assume that it is to be generalized to the whole vicinity? In fact, I would argue that many people might get mad if you touched any of the other piles of dirt! Why don't people just say what they mean? Why is it that people enjoy making others jump through hoops to ascertain their meaning in every bit of dialogue? Why not just be clear to begin with? And how can anyone expect children to figure out nebulous concepts if they aren't specifically taught? Everyone has their unique unwritten rules and expectations, and it can differ from home to home, from province to province. So why should people think that their nonspecifics will mean something other than what they expressly say to anyone else but themselves? It befuddles the mind! I am VERY specific with my kids as to what I expect them to do and what not to do. If I tell them to put their dishes in the dishwasher, I make sure that I have already explained to them that before they do that, they have to rinse off the detritus before placing it in the dishwasher. I don't let anything go assumed, because I know that's where trouble lies. Why don't more people take the time to do this? Mostly I find it's out of sheer laziness!


It's the way NTs talk and they get mad at you if you take it literal or misunderstood like my mom did about stop that teasing. For years I just thought she wasn't specific enough and it was a misunderstanding and she had to blame it on me and be mad at me about it over her own error.

But from my experience you don't always get in trouble for taking something literal because then people be more clear after they see you misunderstood because they see they were not clear enough. But at one of my jobs, I kept being told by an office clerk how I have to use my common sense and it's common sense to know things.

It's like saying "take out the trash" but you don't tell them to put in a new trash liner so the person only takes it out and doesn't put in a new trash liner or even put the trash in the outside trash can because you didn't say where to put it. Same with telling someone to put something in the sink. What I don't understand is how an ASD person isn't able to learn to do these other things after learning from experience what the person wants when they say "take out the trash." It's memorizing and you eventually learn whenever your mom or husband tell you to take it out, they also want you to put in a new trash liner and put the trash in the trash can outside. Same as being asked to do things like "can you take the trash out please?" than saying "take out the trash."


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mikassyna
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24 Jan 2014, 4:58 pm

League_Girl wrote:
It's the way NTs talk and they get mad at you if you take it literal or misunderstood like my mom did about stop that teasing. For years I just thought she wasn't specific enough and it was a misunderstanding and she had to blame it on me and be mad at me about it over her own error.

But from my experience you don't always get in trouble for taking something literal because then people be more clear after they see you misunderstood because they see they were not clear enough. But at one of my jobs, I kept being told by an office clerk how I have to use my common sense and it's common sense to know things.

It's like saying "take out the trash" but you don't tell them to put in a new trash liner so the person only takes it out and doesn't put in a new trash liner or even put the trash in the outside trash can because you didn't say where to put it. Same with telling someone to put something in the sink. What I don't understand is how an ASD person isn't able to learn to do these other things after learning from experience what the person wants when they say "take out the trash." It's memorizing and you eventually learn whenever your mom or husband tell you to take it out, they also want you to put in a new trash liner and put the trash in the trash can outside. Same as being asked to do things like "can you take the trash out please?" than saying "take out the trash."


I do think that in the case of taking out the trash, your parents should have taught you specifically the process of taking out the garbage, where it goes, step by step walking you through the process as they do it or have you do it, including putting in a new liner, in order to teach you. I really don't get how parents simply assume that a kid is going to figure out these processes without their taking the time and effort to teach them specifically. It is simply lazy!! ! Do other kids really pick this stuff up without a parent teaching them? I find that very hard to believe!! !



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24 Jan 2014, 5:29 pm

mikassyna wrote:
League_Girl wrote:
It's the way NTs talk and they get mad at you if you take it literal or misunderstood like my mom did about stop that teasing. For years I just thought she wasn't specific enough and it was a misunderstanding and she had to blame it on me and be mad at me about it over her own error.

But from my experience you don't always get in trouble for taking something literal because then people be more clear after they see you misunderstood because they see they were not clear enough. But at one of my jobs, I kept being told by an office clerk how I have to use my common sense and it's common sense to know things.

It's like saying "take out the trash" but you don't tell them to put in a new trash liner so the person only takes it out and doesn't put in a new trash liner or even put the trash in the outside trash can because you didn't say where to put it. Same with telling someone to put something in the sink. What I don't understand is how an ASD person isn't able to learn to do these other things after learning from experience what the person wants when they say "take out the trash." It's memorizing and you eventually learn whenever your mom or husband tell you to take it out, they also want you to put in a new trash liner and put the trash in the trash can outside. Same as being asked to do things like "can you take the trash out please?" than saying "take out the trash."


I do think that in the case of taking out the trash, your parents should have taught you specifically the process of taking out the garbage, where it goes, step by step walking you through the process as they do it or have you do it, including putting in a new liner, in order to teach you. I really don't get how parents simply assume that a kid is going to figure out these processes without their taking the time and effort to teach them specifically. It is simply lazy!! ! Do other kids really pick this stuff up without a parent teaching them? I find that very hard to believe!! !


I hear all children take things literal but when you get older, people get less patient with you because you should read between the lines they call it. If a seven year old is told to take out the trash and they take it out and just leave it sitting there on the floor, I am sure they would get away with it and the parent tells them they wanted them to take it outside and put it in the trash can and put in the new trash bag but yet if they told their 12 year old this, then the parent might think their child was being defiant and a smart ass when he says "You didn't say where to put it and you didn't tell me to put in a new liner, you just told me to take it out."

My mom told me I was starting to get literal then when she told me to stop that teasing and my therapist told me a normal 11 year old would know what their mother was talking about when she said that. Then she tells me I was always literal which contradicts what she said about me starting to get literal then. Maybe she means I was always literal yes but it was normal then because all kids are literal but as I got older, that's when it became a problem because I was at an age now where kids would read between the lines and know what their parents mean or what their teacher means but I didn't have that ability. I also remember getting in trouble at 14 by a teacher when I was doing funny names and I said Harry Baltz (balls) and she got upset with me and told me no more of that so I stopped and went to another kid and said to her what if her last name was Ball because her first name was Crystal and my teacher started to scream at me. My mom told me she meant she didn't want me doing anymore goofy names and I thought she meant no more inappropriate names and she didn't want me talking to her about it anymore so I went to another student and started talking about it and changed the name to Ball from balls.

I don't even understand how a young child can get in trouble for taking something literal, autistic or not because aren't all kids literal? I remember the time when an eight year old girl was arrested in January 2009 and she was saying she doesn't have any batteries when she was told she was being charged for assault battery. I thought then isn't that normal at her age to take things literal. She has never heard of the term assault battery and they were trying to connect it to her autism. I don't see how a normal eight year old would understand either. Even my therapist would say it's normal but if she did it at 14 or 17, it wouldn't be normal. He told me it was normal when I took "broke my heart" literal at eight and "I cross my heart and hope to die."

Were people just easily blaming things on my AS in my teens when in fact it may have been them not being clear enough? Even when I was nine, my mom had to say "not today, not tomorrow, never" but she never had to do it to my brothers because they seemed to have understood what she meant but she figured out if she said those extra words to me, I won't do it ever again than doing it the next day or later in the day.


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