To Autistic Child, Raising Children…One at a Time, is Easy

Jonathan pulled a “funny”.

You see, while at a conference in the South, we were staying with my parents and while we were all in the car, a discussion about the difficulties of raising six kids became lengthy.   Jonathan, who we thought wasn’t even paying attention, said “It isn’t difficult to raise six kids. You just raise them up – one at a time.”

Although impossible to focus exclusively on only one child when you have many others to look after, I thought how inherently simple and intuitive Jonathan’s comment really was.

Sure, six kids is not the norm these days and really is a handful given the average family has, statistically, only 2.2 kids. Nonetheless, Jonathan’s statement, in its most basic sense, was true…in theory at least.   Many times, reality trumps theory. Postulating and oversimplifying often miss the mark.

Due to Jonathan’s literal sense of understanding, abstract thoughts often are challenging and confusing for Autistics.

In fact, one can see the humor in varying circumstances when literal application of abstract terms just don’t make sense yet that is exactly the issue with some Autistics.

We’ve all heard “It’s raining cats and dogs”, “Lets toast the bride” and others such as “If you eat another cookie you’ll turn into one!”

Say any one of those phrases to Jonathan and he’d look up…expecting to see actual cats and dogs falling from the sky.  He might also be perplexed as to why anyone would wish to “toast” the bride.  After all he’d reason, she looks so pretty the way she is…leave her alone!

The thought of “turning into a cookie” may be amusing to us but would most likely initiate a string of questions from Jonathan.

How has literal interpretation of everyday metaphors by a special needs person surprised you?

What have you done to ensure the correct message is conveyed under these circumstances?

Share your light hearted and serious stories with me.

To share your story, leave your comment below.

As always, I look forward to hearing from you.

Karen Simmons
Mother, Wife, Author, Founder & CEO of

P.S. Here is something I would like to recommend that will give you the tips, strategies, and tools you need to help understand and cope with metaphors and Autistics.

Download a video presentation that will help you understand the nature of and simple solutions to communicating with Autistics by clicking this link:


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