Some of us here at The Learning Support Centre recently attended the ‘The Autism Show’, a national autism event hosted at the NEC, Birmingham. Although there was numeral exhibitors and key speakers here, a personal favourite was “Put Yourself in My Shoes” – What it’s Like to be Autistic by Michael Barton. Michael was particularly engaging through the utilisation of illustration in attempt to portray an Autistic perspective – a somewhat ‘Autistic guide to idioms, metaphors and general everyday expressions. In a nutshell, Michael wished to portray the challenge of interpreting figurative language in the hope that it will offer encouragement and confidence to others on the autistic spectrum in acknowledging figures of speech and feel less alienated during their interactions with others. Reason being, those on the ASD Spectrum can interpret such meanings in a very literal way as English presents itself as illogical and confusing. For example, how on earth does cats and dogs falling from the sky mean heavy rain? And what have Chickens got to do with being a coward anyway!?
1. Strong attention to detail
2. Ability to concentrate for long periods of time
3. Ability to retain facts and figures
4. Straight to the point in his speech
If Michaels weaknesses are always used against him, should ours? Taking the above in account it would probably look a little like this…
1. Lack of attention to detail
2. Inability to concentrate for long periods of time
3. Poor memory
4. Use elaborate language/don’t say what they mean
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