16 Funny Things Our Followers’ Kids on the Spectrum Have Taken Literally

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In March of 2017, we shared with you a video in which a young woman with autism explained the various phrases she found confusing—phrases that could easily be misunderstood by someone with a literal mind. We were thrilled with how much you guys loved it…and even more thrilled when several of you went on to share some hilarious and adorable stories of misinterpretation. Even though many of the challenges of autism can be dead serious, there are definitely some that make for funny, lighthearted moments—and literalism is definitely one of those challenges that can produce some funny situations.

Here were some of our favorite funny and sweet language mishaps you shared with us.

confused boy with funny facial expression

16. “Your hands are dry.”

“I told my son his hands were dry so he started licking them.” —Chantelle S.

15. “Please do the dishes.”

“Conversation with my high functioning son:
Me: ‘Why aren’t the dishes finished? I told you to finish them!’
Son: (confused) ‘I did the dishes…’
Me: ‘Then why are there still pots and pans on the stove and counter? Obviously you didn’t do the dishes.’
Son: ‘You told me to do the DISHES, not the pots and pans…’
Me: *facepalm* ‘Oh. Huh. Well then, would you please do the pots and pans now?’
Son: ‘Sure!’

That was an eye opening moment.” —Kathleen S. H.

14. “What brought Mary and Joseph to Egypt?”

“When my daughter with autism was in a Catholic middle school her religion teacher asked, ‘What brought Mary and Joseph to Egypt?’ My daughter answered, ‘A donkey.’ Fun times.” —Patrice C.

13. “How do you make eggs?”

“My mom asked my high functioning 14 y.o. son if he knew how to make (she meant cook) eggs. He said, ‘Well first you get a chicken.’

“I asked him this morning how to ‘cook’ eggs and he said ‘in a skillet.’ He isn’t wrong.” —Leah T. B.

Closeup photo of two scrambled eggs in black frying pan

“What planet do you live on?”

“I made the mistake of yelling at my son, ‘What planet do you live on?’ Of course, he replied ‘earth’ like I was an idiot.” —Valerie H.

11. “You can take that to the bank!”

“Son: ‘What’s a baby owl called?’
Me: ‘An owlette.’
Son: ‘Are you sure?’
Me: ‘Yes, I’d never give you the wrong information.’
Son: ‘Really sure?’
Me: ‘Yes, and you can take that to the bank!’
Son: ‘What would they give me if I did?’
Me: ‘What?’
Son: ‘If I took an owlette to the bank, what would they give me?’
Haha, love my boy!” —Laura K.

Click “next” to see more funny stories from our users!

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A. Stout received a Bachelor of Arts in Writing through Grand Valley State University, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2015. In addition to being a passionate autism advocate, she is a member of various fandoms, a study abroad alumna, and an animal lover. She dreams of publishing novels and traveling all over the world someday.