Saturday, September 8, 2012

This Close

An aspect of individuals with Asperger's Syndrome is they are often quite literal in their thinking.  

This can sometimes create quite a twist in a situation :)

Just before school started, Sis and I decided to go fishing at a city pond and took along Little Guy.  Little Guy has many sensory issues; some include avoidance, others include seeking.  For some reason, he was on a tactile seeking streak; everything he saw, he had to touch.  Grass - touch.  Rocks - touch.  Mud - touch.  Scum on water - touch.  

As I was taking my turn at the pole, Sis noticed Little Guy putting his hands in the garbage can.  She gave him a warning, with a reminder that it's not okay to touch certain things because they can carry germs.  Little Guy skipped away, but was soon drawn to something else he shouldn't be touching.  Again, Sis gave him a warning.

I soon caught a fish, one too small to keep.  Unfortunately, it had deeply swallowed the hook and I was a little too vigorous in trying to free it; fish blood and guts soon splattered the ground.  I finally pried the hook loose, and decided to see if the fish could be saved by putting it into the water.  As I slipped it back into the pond, I heard Sis yell for me.

I turned around just in time to see Little Guy swirling his fingers in the gut/blood mess.  It was the final straw; I marched right over to my son, removed his hand from the viscera, and bent over to look him in the eye.  I spread my index finger and thumb apart and said, "You are about this close to being in big trouble, young man!"

An immediate look of puzzlement swept over Little Guy's face.  Not anger, shame, fear, or any other typical emotion I was expecting.  As I turned away, I heard him ask his sister this:

"How close was it? How close did she say?  Was it this close?  How far is that - three inches?"

This was said without sarcasm, calculation, or deviousness; Little Guy had taken my statement literally and was focused on the physical distance I'd indicated, totally missing the point that he was in trouble altogether.  Sis and I looked at each other, trying desperately not to laugh.  I had to turn and hide my smile as my daughter patiently explained to her little brother what I'd meant by my statement.  When it finally seemed to register with Little Guy, he let out a huge sigh, and looked straight at me

"Whew - I sure was lucky.  That was really close, wasn't it?"

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