Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Psych 101 and Then Some

I have started my Psychology class and I am so excited to think I will be able to learn more about how the brain and body interact. Perhaps there are accommodations I can try that I have not come across yet. To accommodate and adapt for my deficient systems, that is my goal. Today I learned how the antianxiety drug helps, its functioning neurologic. Keys and locks at synapsess is a a great visual of it. I love the book that way. It speaks in pictures, something an autist appreciates. When explaining something, a picture description moves the information straight to memory for me. It is an automatic filing that requires no further translation. Abstract words need an anchor to access them. How do you process love? Is it a sensation you feel that comes rushing back? Or a picture concrete of loved ones? My Mom says music sometimes pulls up memories. Like an old song can put her on the beach complete with the smell of suntan lotion and salt air. How about smell? Does smell retrieve any memories for you?

Autists' memories are tied to the senses in same way. Most autists are visual filers. But it may depend for some on what sense was most functional at the time. My earliest memories are all tied to scent. My most recent to picture movies. I create them in my mind with silent screen word captions as an easy cross reference.To hear a word is to see it. Conversations are reading exercises in my mind.

To act is another process. It requires transfering the written word to oral sound in my head or an outside oral sound at outset. I can't move to follow still picture instructions. Still Pictures do not translate to movement in my sensory system. To recall vs. perform are two very different functions for me. For me, moving pictures is key to movement. For another just pictures may be enough to move.

The point is this, to know the sensory filing preference of an autist is to be able to help them. Cuing is everything. It is the equivalent of speaking a common language. We as autists can not always learn to speak your language, but you can learn to speak ours.

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