How does a child with autism see?
The other day I found glasses with orange glasses, they were left from an ultraviolet lamp for the treatment of SARS. For the sake of interest, I put them on Alice. And the child was gone. It was as if her eyes had suddenly cleared. She became interested in looking at everything around. She looked at the table, her grandmother, looked out the window and everything was so fascinating. Usually Alice is not interested in what is going on around, but with glasses it was different.
That day we went to Abrau-Durso, it’s very beautiful there, especially in autumn. It’s been a warm day, I don’t want to go for a walk. Surprisingly, Alice didn’t mind taking a walk, and when we got the coveted glasses, she was quite happy. I walked along the path and looked at the sky, carefully examined the trees, looked into the bushes. The walk turned out great.
This moment made me think again about how Alice sees the world. In most situations, there is a feeling that this world does not interest her, it is like a blurred spot or background. Sometimes she abruptly stops her gaze on my face and begins to examine it, as if she sees me for the first time, turns her head from side to side with her hand, then brings it closer, then looks from afar. It seems to me that at such moments her look becomes different, as if my face began to stand out from the general background. Alice can easily confuse me with another woman if she has a similar hair length and complexion, of course, on closer inspection she will realize that she was mistaken. She can distinguish much better by her voice.
Some studies show that people with autism do not see the world the way we are used to. Often the image for them is noisy or distorted. I cannot say how true this is. Since Alice is a non-verbal child, she cannot describe in words how she sees, it remains only to guess by indirect signs. She distinguishes between pictures, can assemble a whole from a part (I have already mentioned her love of puzzles more than once). Can find an object on a noisy picture (a noisy picture is a picture on which, in addition to the main image, there are lines, doodles, colored spots, etc. P., which complicates the identification process). In the search bar from the list of previously viewed videos, she can find the name of the cartoon she needs. At the same time, she does not know how to read in the classical sense and cannot compose a word from letters according to a pattern. For me, of course, this is strange, unusual and incomprehensible.
Alice easily copes with the most difficult lotto, but if you ask her to put the same one next to the item, she will not be able to do it. How is it? In everyday life, we have not bothered with such questions for a long time, but some moments, like the story with glasses, make us think about how she sees this world, how she sees me and, of course, herself.