There are some things that, if I did not have a child with autism, I would never experience. Some are not fun, but most give me new perspectives, unique and often humorous.
Last night while out with my son, I mentioned a few things that I needed to do, saying that I was going to "kill two birds with one stone"
A look of horror came upon his face.
"Mom, you? You're going to kill 2 birds with a stone? I thought you loved birds? Why would you want to kill them?"
Before I could help him understand, he was crying for the twin precious feathered creatures that were going to meet their Maker at his own Mother's hands.
For those of you who don't know me...let me inform you that I have trouble with the idea of stepping on a bug. Everyone around me knows that to me life is sacred. Ask my husband about my rant on air guns and how a pellet may never touch a living thing. Well...you get the picture.
To my son, the thought that Mom was going to kill not one, but two birds, and that she was confessing she was going to do it prior to actually committing the act was more than he could handle.
All this is to say, people on the spectrum have a very difficult time with idioms. They think in concrete terms. As Temple Grandin puts it "they think in pictures". So he vividly imagined me extinguishing two helpless birds.
I explained to him the meaning a few times. That it didn't really mean I was going to kill any birds, it was just that I was going to be able to get two things done at the same time.
Did he understand? Yes, he did. Finally. Pshoooo.
We get home, he's ok. No more tears.
Getting ready for bed, he brings me the empty box from his new shoes. He handed it to me and said, "This is for the birds, so you can bury them when you're done."
Bless his heart. I guess I need to choose my words more carefully!