Saturday Stuff.I had a long to-do list for last Saturday. The primary item on Saturday's to-do list was to take Little Suzy to the library to get a biography for an oral book report. Usually, when I have to take Little Suzy somewhere, Mario (my son) prefers to stay home for unfettered Wii and all things Mario (the plumber). I always ask Mario if he wants to come with, knowing the answer is usually no. Much to my surprise, Mario said "OK, We're going to the public library, right?" "Yes, Mario. We're going to the public library".
Not That Library.I briefed the kids about a stop at Big Box Mart before going the library. When we arrived at Big Box Mart, Mario said "Dad, I don't want to go in. Can I start walking and meet you at the library?".
"Mario, the library is 5 miles away. You can't walk to the library.", I replied.
Mario responded, "NO, the library is just down the street."
"Mario, we're going to the library on 2nd Street.", I answered.
|North Suburban Branch Library, Loves Park, IL|
"Mario, they're all public libraries. The library on 2nd Street is the North Suburban Branch of the public library.", I answered.
Mario ended the conversation, "Maybe, but that's not what the sign says."
OK, But That's Not The Library You Said.
The whole public library/North Suburban Library conversation may seem like minutiae, but Mario has Asperger's Syndrome. Aspies are very literal and often inflexible, so to an Aspie, the North Suburban Library is significantly different than the public library. These seemingly insignificant differences can end a day or waste many hours for an Aspie. On this Saturday, Mario rose above it all (after 5 minutes). A successful library trip and a good day was had by all.
Lesson Learned.This is a wonderful lesson Aspies can teach the non-Aspie enabled world. It's easy to assume everyone is talking about the same thing, even with simple terms. Simple terms don't necessarily mean similar and certainly don't mean the same terms. Little differences can have major implications and turn good exchanges bad. Taking a moment to confirm terms keeps life simpler and more enjoyable.
Do you have any examples of finding out something you said was heard differently than it was intended? How did everything turn out?