Thursday 23 February 2023

Autism: Do you see what I see?

Taken at Woolworths in Rosebank, Johannesburg - February 2019.

It was not spelt right

Look at the picture above and have you noticed something? This is a regular conversation I have with Brian when he comments about my ability to see things others do not see. In my own view, I am left quite surprised it is not that obvious.

I cannot tell how it is that I see things in patterns, especially when it comes to words, there is an expected order and when things are seemingly not in that order, I notice. That is not to say I do not commit the same mistakes. What I have written and what I perceive is there could be two different things. It comes with the territory.

However, the number of times I have heard people say, “It’s only you that would see that.”, would suggest there is something, a gift or some irregularity that I possess demonstrated in these observations I cannot seem to keep to myself.

Sensory observations out of pattern

It was only two Sundays ago when in our church Sung Eucharist pamphlet where the credits for the hymns were written, the year of birth and death of one of the credited showed he had lived for 165 years. Who reads that? Well, I do and I noticed before I showed it to the dean after the service.

Yet, it is not just patterns in words, I sometimes hear sounds out of place even if my hearing is not that keen and for someone who has a lazy eye, the keenness of my vision along with the inability to use stereo vision to judge distance and speed is quite interesting. It just seems anything that is out of place jumps out to me.

I sometimes wonder if I should ignore these things, then, these observations can make for interesting documentation or conversation. I love the sight of the unusual, the irregular, the strange, the abnormal, the distinct, or maybe, the invisible to others. Somewhere on that spectrum of autism, the strange is just quite normal. It is the way we see our world.

Did you see it?

If you did not see what was strange about the picture above, Brian swears I saw it within a minute of getting to the restaurant and trying to place an order. My Instagram post about it appears below:

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