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Autism Made Rather Interesting with the Mixing of the Senses

Autism and Synesthaesia

Autistic children "hear" colors and can "see" music. What other sensations are associated with autism?


How absolutely fascinating can a hard life get when the autistic child in your care hears colors and sees music? That is one absolutely mind-boggling way that lovely grandchild of yours has his or her senses all up in a bundle, mixed up to create one rather strange sensation.

What is Synaesthesia?

A rather interesting condition appearing in about 4% of the population, the UK Synaethesia Association, among others, is interested in individuals who develop this disorder involuntarily and automatically join together 2 or more of the senses that are normally perceived quite separately from one another. As such, reading a book might also allow one to experience colors or sounds. Some have reported that certain musical notes also invoke different tastes. It is not considered a disorder or a diseases, but merely a rather strange condition that involves connections made in the brain that are atypical and quite unnatural.

Autism in itself is a cognitive developmental condition occuring in 1% of the population, which involves both social and communication disabilities alongside a rather fierce resistance to change and unusually narrow scope of interests and activities.

Some interesting autism stats:

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The Study

According to a theory within the study published on November 20, 2013, in the Journal of Molecular Autism, savantism arises in individuals who have both autism and synaesthesia, as both share the phenomenon of over-connectivity in neurons within the brain, allowing for a focus on a single thing while shutting everything else out. After all, it is not everyday a man is found with savant memory and number-shape synaesthesia, as well as Asperger Syndrome.

The rate of synaesthesia in autism was about 18.9%, almost three times greater than the rates seen in the typical sample with 7.22%. Correlation is not causation but further research might just discover a link between the two conditions that allows us to unravel the human mind more efficiently.

Don't forget that a child with autism might also be the smartest kid in his class.

It's rather interesting to think that autism also gives rise to the mixing of the senses known as synaesthesia, a prospect parents and grandparens should know about that is both interesting and partially frightening for a child who somehow can hear music while reading or see colors over letters that are actually black and white.

Image Source: Flickr



I have been working with children with autism and was not aware of this at all. Very interesting article and will definetly be in my mind while working with this population
It's one of the most interesting new studies I've seen about autistic children!
I have two issues with this article. The first is that you use person-'first' language throughout, which is a major insult to Autistic people, the majority of whom prefer identity-first language. Therefore, you should use a 50/50 mix of of identity-first and person-first languages when writing about us. My second and most major issue is that you keep talking about Autistic children and never once mention Autistic adults, but everyone knows that a synaesthetic Autistic child grows up to be a synaesthetic Autistic adult because of Autism being a lifelong condition. Please fix these issues as promptly as you can. Thank you.