If-Then Statements

…if an inability to parse “if-then” statements is “normal” for allistics?

I ask because I’ve seen this problem now both in our two allistic children (Al Jr. and Alia) and in my allistic students.  They can follow simple declarative directions, but any statement in an “if-then” format simply confuses them.

Here is an example:

STUDENT: “Will I get my research paper back at my individual paper conference?”
ME:  “If you have turned in your copy card, you’ll get your paper back.  If you have not turned in your copy card, bring it to your paper conference.“
STUDENT:  “So…will we get our research papers back at our paper conferences?”

It absolutely boggles me.  For people so dependent on their peers for even the most basic comprehension, you would think they would be able to ask a friend (do allistics actually make friends? I mean, the way we do?).  I understand they have problems with written directions – too self-directed, I suppose – but I also make sure to supply them with handouts, just in case.

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