What He Doesn’t Know

English: Short-faced Hyena, Hungarian Natural ...


Kids with autism are often lost when one uses colloquialisms and turns of phrase because they don’t jive with the literal translation in their minds.  Tonight, I made a comment to The Boy as he was giggling about something he was watching on youtube that he was “laughing like a hyena”.  He had no idea what I meant, in large part because he didn’t know what a hyena was.


I was momentarily stunned as I thought, “He doesn’t know what a hyena is?  He’s almost eleven!  Shouldn’t he have learned this by now?” I thought back to when I was eleven, and tried to remember if I knew then what a hyena was, and guessed that I probably did.  So why did I know that then?  Maybe Mutual of Omaha?  Maybe we need to be watching more nature shows on PBS?  Don’t answer that — I know we need to be watching more anything on PBS.  I’m just not all that keen on TV, but that’s another story…


What does a modern mom do?  I pulled up youtube and called him over to watch a youtube video of a hyena laughing, in response to which he promptly… you guessed it, started laughing.


Does anyone else find this parenting thing not at all as sequential as you thought it would be, and way more random?