Thursday, May 7, 2009

Kids Say the Darndest Things

Kids say the darndest things.

So do teenagers with Asperger's Syndrome.

Persons with Asperger's tend to see things in black and white. This is often evident during their conversation; when they speak, they often tell it exactly how they see it. Concepts such as omission or editing of words to avoid hurting others' feelings are often foreign to them. These strategies fall into the gray area, and gray is confusing.

Having few inhibitions when one speaks may seem very liberating, but it certainly can be embarrassing to their parents.

Imagine my chagrin when I recently had a conversation with one of Big Guy's youth leaders from our church and he related the following story:

Apparently, members of the our church's youth group have been trying their hardest to include Big Guy in their activities. Most of their overtures have been resisted, some rather rudely. Upon learning about my son's recent job at a fast food establishment, the youth leader had a great idea. Why not bring the activity to Big Guy by treating the boys in the group to milkshakes during his shift? The leader enthusiastically presented his idea to my son, who quickly shot it down.

"I don't think that's a good idea, it will be too distracting for me," was Big Guy's reply. The real kicker is, Big Guy was working in the back of the restaurant so how big of a distraction could this plan really bring?

Stunned, the youth leader tried addressing my son's logical side. He pointed out that more customers meant more business for the establishment, which in turn provides greater job security for Big Guy. He also mentioned that as a business owner himself, he knew he wouldn't appreciate it if he learned an employee was intentionally turning customers away. The youth leader asked once more if the youth group could come, confident that the answer would be "yes" this time.

"No, I really don't want you to," was Big Guy's reply.

I just hope we make it to the second paycheck!

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