Case Study

Everything is literal for my daughter, Krista. When she was 5, I said that she had “rats” in her hair. she began screaming, “Get them out”, I explained that people say that when you have knots in your hair. A few days later she asked me to get the knots outs of her hair, but one knot was really bad. When I told her I couldn’t get the knot out, she informed me that the knot must be “double knotted”

When she was 8, my husband said, “I have a backache”. She began to argue with him, informing him that he didn’t have a backache. The argument was getting pretty heated, so I asked my husband to stop and see what she meant. I asked her why she thought Dad didn’t have a backache. She grabbed his hands and said, “Look, there is nothing in his hands!” To her “to have” meant that your hands had to be holding an object. She didn’t understand a more abstract meaning of “have”, where your body could possess something such as a backache.

Moments like these continued, even though she is now 15. She was visiting a friend and was told to come home at 6:30 PM The rest of the family got home at 7 :00 and she wasn’t there. When we asked her about it she said, “But I did come home at 6:30! Then I went back”