Simile and Metaphor: Easy as Pie?

4 Oct

For an autistic student, simile and metaphor is a right royal nightmare. Imagine this. You are unable to see the world in any other way than absolutely literally. You cannot read between the lines, you do not know what inference is. Everything is absolutely black and white.

Simile and Metaphor: Easy as Pie?

With that in mind, take a look at a few of these every day similes and metaphors:

I have an ace up my sleeve

armed to the teeth

I’m going to put that on the back burner

don’t beat about the bush

that is a bone of contention

now you have opened a can of worms

I’m waiting for the dust to settle

I think we are flogging a dead horse

The world of inference is a mystery to many special needs students, never mind those whoe are also struggling with autism. Its raining cats and dogs…. the student looks out the window, no it isn’t? Even a more intelligent Autistic student will first think that, before self correcting and realising that you didn’t really mean it.

Imagine a world where you have to LEARN how to read between the lines? Imagine a world where you have to learn each and every metaphot and simile so you do not get confused and think that people are talking about some strange parallel universe? Imagine a world where everything is THIS or THAT, and you are unable to see it any other way.

Here is what the student is likely to think first..

‘I have an ace up my sleeve’ – er, no you don’t sir.

‘armed to the teeth’ – student startes confused at the teachers teeth

‘I’m going to put that on the back burner’ – what?! is there a fire?

‘don’t beat about the bush’ – bush? eh? we are inside? I never mentioned a bush

‘that is a bone of contention’ – student shows completely flummoxed expression

‘now you have opened a can of worms’ – no I didnt, I was talking about my work sir.

‘I’m waiting for the dust to settle’ – Why? it is not dusty in here

‘I think we are flogging a dead horse’ – Who’s horse, when did they die?

What a confusing world we live in.

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