I Taught My Son with Autism How to Swear


Those who suffer from communication disorders have a difficult time using different forms of language at the appropriate time. We all know instinctively which words to use in business or personal situations and even these rules change depending on the relationship and setting. It is a complex world most of us navigate successfully without a second thought.

I realized it was time to teach Ben the underbelly of language when he came home from middle school and asked me if "p***y" was a bad word. It seems several of his classmates asked him if he knew a word that started with "p" and was another word for "cat." Of course, he fell for the joke and got in trouble for spewing a most unacceptable word in class.

I knew I would have to teach Ben these words eventually and I dreaded the task. I would have to explain which words could be used in which situations and with whom. This is a huge problem as most people with autism cannot gauge situations in a moment's glance as many neurotypical people are capable of doing. For example, you wouldn't go up to the Queen of England and say "Yo, bee-atch. How's it hanging?" For Ben, this is not such an easy distinction.

So, we began the lessons called "The Appropriate Use of Foul Language Which You Can Use Sometimes But Not Others and Only With Certain People and Sometimes Not Even Them."

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