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Reboot895
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
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06 Apr 2016, 5:31 am

So one thing Im confused about and one of the things why Im convinced I can't have aspergers, is the fact I don't take things literally.

Watching my favourite film, there are the phrases like

Greeter: "How do you do?"
Aspie: "How do you do what?"

Greeter: "Put the kettle on"
Aspie: "Put the kettle on?" (on what?)

Don't Aspies, through observing, watching and understanding, know that when someone says "put the kettle on" someone fills a kettle with water, and then switches it on? Or that when someone says "How do you do?" it's a colloquialism meaning "How are you?" simply by observing how other people respond?

Surely it's not possible to get to 15 or whatever without figuring these out?

I get bogged down myself in other areas, like when someone says "Lets get coffee" or "we must catch up" or call themselves a "friend" well, I take them at their word. Then their actions don't match their words and Im left guessing. They seem disingenuous. How do you know when they're being genuine and when they aren't? A friend of mine text me to say they "tried to talk to you the other day".

Hmm. No they didn't. They went up to speak to someone else. If they wanted to speak to me so badly, why didn't they just text me?



Chichikov
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06 Apr 2016, 6:28 am

"Put the kettle on" harks back to the days before electricity was as widespread and if you wanted to heat up water you would fill a metal kettle with water and put it on the stove, so that's what the "on" refers to - on the stove.

Complex neurological issues like Autism can't be boiled down to simplistic things like "if you know what put the kettle on means you can't be autistic", otherwise tests for autism would be much simpler. Likewise saying that autistic people take things literally is also an over-simplification.



Reboot895
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
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06 Apr 2016, 6:36 am

Hmm.

Are you saying that Im taking literally that Aspies taking thing literally?



mpe
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06 Apr 2016, 6:53 am

Chichikov wrote:
"Put the kettle on" harks back to the days before electricity was as widespread and if you wanted to heat up water you would fill a metal kettle with water and put it on the stove, so that's what the "on" refers to - on the stove.

Or even on the fire. Rather than turn it it ON, as you'd do with any electrical device.

Quote:
Complex neurological issues like Autism can't be boiled down to simplistic things like "if you know what put the kettle on means you can't be autistic", otherwise tests for autism would be much simpler. Likewise saying that autistic people take things literally is also an over-simplification.

Most people are capable to learning things like a certain ambiguity always being resolved a specific way. Or terms having non literally meanings.
Which can be an issue in "diagnosing" autistic adults.



zkydz
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06 Apr 2016, 7:46 am

Reboot895 wrote:
Greeter: "How do you do?"
Aspie: "How do you do what?"

Greeter: "Put the kettle on"
Aspie: "Put the kettle on?" (on what?)
It's like learning anything the first time you're exposed to it. If you have no frame of reference, how are you expected to derive the proper result?

If I called you a turtle back, you may think it's funny, silly or something to do with turtlewax. But, in parts of the world, it's an insult.

Called my wife a chicken one day because she didn't want to get in the super hot car. She was greatly offended. Turns out 'chicken' is a prostitute where she's from.

Frame of reference makes all the difference sometimes. It ain't all magical.


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06 Apr 2016, 8:04 am

No, of course I wouldn't think that 'How do you do?' means 'how do I do what?' even though I'm not a native English.

But when a few months ago I spoke to my manager's manager about the broblems at work (Asperger related, when I was just trying to get my diagnosis). I usually smile when I'm stressed out (Asperger thing) but she somehow ignored that and said: you look worried. And then I started touching my face and asking her what she meant. And then I said: O my God; thinking: I did it again, I took something literally.



sonicallysensitive
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06 Apr 2016, 9:42 am

Reboot895 wrote:
Don't Aspies, through observing, watching and understanding, know that when someone says "put the kettle on" someone fills a kettle with water, and then switches it on? Or that when someone says "How do you do?" it's a colloquialism meaning "How are you?" simply by observing how other people respond?


I can only speak on my own behalf rather than on behalf of 'aspies' - but my reply to you is:

My instinctive/'first reaction' thought is literal (even when familiar with a figure of speech) - after which there's the 'intellectual processing' stage.

Hence the delay.

It's probably the equivalent of someone who is colour blind thinking they're looking at 'purple' then realising 'their' purple is not what everyone else sees as purple - at which point they have to translate what is for them 'purple' into the colour it is for everyone else.


Reboot895 wrote:
Surely it's not possible to get to 15 or whatever without figuring these out?


1. We don't die if we don't understand a figure of speech
2. Many autistics have support for precisely these reasons



Trogluddite
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06 Apr 2016, 2:14 pm

^^Yes, that's very well put, I think.

When someone greets me with, "How are you.", even after all these years, my first instinct is to tell them exactly how I feel in graphic detail - but I have learned to stop myself before any words come out, and then analyse the situation correctly as just a general purpose greeting for which, "I'm OK, how are you?" is a more appropriate response.

As I have been telling people for many years, even long before I knew my diagnosis - "I'm not stupid, but I can be slow!". There's an extra, conscious "processing" step that I have to do in between listening and responding.


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