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Warning: The doing of an unauthorised act in relation to a copyright work may result in both a civil claim for damages and criminal prosecution. The right of Jude Welton to be identified as author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act ISBN pbk. Autistic children--Language. Asperger's syndrome--Patients--Language. Developmentally disabled children--Language. Language acquisition. Telford, Jane.

A9W JW Ditto. JT Contents Acknowledgements xii Foreword by Elizabeth Newson xiii Introduction for children xv The illustrated metaphors 1 The metaphors are arranged alphabetically, based on the first noun — if there is one. And when autism touched my life more closely than I could have expected, Elizabeth remained an equally inspiring and sympathetic friend, mentor and advocate.

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Her encouragement and suggestions gave me the confidence to see this book to its completion. Thanks to Charlotte Gilbert, who — along with my son — helped me decide how to present the metaphors. A huge thank you to Jane for her enthusiasm and her wonderful illustrations. But most of all, my love and thanks go to my husband David for his help and support with this project and with so much else, and to JJ, our lovely son, who inspired this book.

Every family has its own funny but rueful stories to tell. Parents of an autistic child as young as two years old can find themselves on a rapid learning curve about recognizing the very real distress that their child experiences when they accidentally break his self-imposed rules of behaviour. Children who have Asperger Syndrome usually have the great advantage of verbal ability.

But they do have the skills of vocabulary and grammar that enable them to put together good sentences which they expect others to understand. First, we tend to talk to each other in a great variety of ways, listening to each other as we go along and trying to make what we say more interesting. But trying to avoid the forms of speech that come naturally is not really a realistic option, especially in the long term. What Jude Welton has given us here is a truly helpful introduction into the world of metaphor, rich enough to make it clear to the child what metaphors are all about, and how he could join in.

Humour helps; and Jude and Jane have given us plenty of that. The children we worked with on metaphor had a lot of fun adding to their own repertories, and eventually even experimenting to make up their own as the occasion required. If we had had a book like this to inspire us, it would have given us a kick-start a WHAT? A lovely and practical book, which children and grownups can enjoy — and giggle over — together. Sometimes words or phrases have a different meaning from this literal meaning. They mean that he has let other people know something that was meant to be kept a secret.

They mean that they thought one way about something at first, and then they thought differently about it. I would really like to go now. A metaphor is a saying or expression whose meaning comes from a suggested xv comparison with something else. Metaphors usually create a picture in your mind. People use them to make language and conversation more interesting. Using words in this way can be fun, but it can be confusing. If I know why a saying has a particular meaning, I will tell you.

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I hope you have fun learning metaphors. I hope you enjoy using them sometimes, and collecting new ones. There are some empty pages at the back of the book, so that you can add new sayings to your collection when you hear or read them. As you will see, there is a frame on each of these pages. If someone is the apple of your eye, it means that you love them very much. It is often used to describe the way a parent feels about a child.

Why does it mean this? She is the apple of his eye. To bend over backwards means to try as hard as you possibly can to do something, usually to please or help someone.


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But the people in the restaurant were brilliant. They bent over backwards to make sure he had a delicious dinner. To have a ball means to enjoy yourself, and have a really good time. I had a ball every day. To be on the ball means to be able to understand and deal with things well. He does the crossword quicker than Mum or Dad can! The expression refers to the game of tennis. Now the ball is in your court. To start the ball rolling means to start an activity, particularly if it is something with which other people will join in. Anna, will you start the ball rolling?

If someone scrapes the bottom of the barrel, they are forced to use or choose an idea, person or thing that is not very good, because they cannot think of or find a better alternative. They were scraping the bottom of the barrel when they chose me! I thought you did really well. To be full of beans means to be full of energy, and be very active.

The saying comes from a way of describing horses who were full of energy when they had been fed well. They were tired this morning.

To spill the beans means to give someone information, particularly information that is meant to be secret. Why does it means this? This expression may come from the time when the Ancient Greeks used to vote at elections by putting beans into a jar.

What Did You Say? What Do You Mean?: An Illustrated Guide to Understanding Metaphors

If you say that someone got out of the wrong side of the bed, it means that they are in a bad mood — usually for no obvious reason. This saying comes from an old superstition that if you put your left foot on the floor first when getting out of bed, you would have bad luck all day. He seems to have got out of the wrong side of the bed. To drive someone round the bend means to annoy or bore them so much that they feel that they are going to lose control of themselves.

It has a similar meaning to driving someone up the wall page All that waiting was driving me round the bend! To miss the boat means to miss or fail to take an opportunity to do something. But the date for entries has passed now. I missed the boat. If someone rocks the boat, they are disrupting a stable, settled situation, usually by interfering, or by trying to do things differently.

Examples 14 1. Now, no one seems to get on any more. Everyone else seems happy with the way things are. When you have a bone to pick with someone, it means that you are annoyed about something they have said or done, and you want to talk to them about it. This saying may refer to dogs squabbling over a bone that more than one of them wants to eat. You need to get to know them better before you decide what you think of them. If you say that someone is too big for their boots, you are criticizing them for behaving as if they think they are more important than they are. If you take the bull by the horns, you deal with a tricky situation in a direct, determined way.

Someone was bound to say that they had been given the worst job! But she took the bull by the horns, and just gave them a list of who had to do what. If someone is said to have butterflies in their tummy, it means that they are feeling nervous and jittery about something that they have to do. Sometimes, when you are nervous, your stomach gets a fluttery feeling, as if there were butterflies flying around in it.


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  • She had butterflies in her tummy just thinking about it. To carry the can means to take the blame for something, even though others are also responsible. This was probably a military expression originally. It is thought to refer to the man chosen to carry the beer container for a group of soldiers. When the ball broke a window, Tom decided to carry the can, even though it had been his younger brother who had actually kicked the ball. If a situation is described as being a can of worms, it is much more complicated than it seems. He said it would be opening a can of worms if we started changing the channels.

    If you burn the candle at both ends, you are staying up late and getting up early. To lay or put your cards on the table means not to hide the way you feel or what you plan to do, but to let other people know. This expression refers to card games. Usually, you hide your cards from the other players, but if you lay your cards on the table face upwards, they can see which cards you have.