As my diagnosis has come late in life, there are many things that I can look back on that suddenly make sense. Many of these I was not aware of as being different to what other people do.
When I was three I learnt to read, by shape first, then phonics. For instance, umbrella was two small, one tall, two small, two tall, one small. When there were two combinations that could be the same word, like tea or two the correct one would obviously be the one that made sense in context.
I guess this breaking down into basics, and building up via logic was an important view into how my brain works. It is how I recognise people, not by their faces, but by a combination of clues that when put together give me the identity of the person.
My husband is easy. He is tall, has long red hair, wears black, wears glasses (or shades). These things, along with a few other distinctive personal features make my husband. But if I were to recall him from memory, I default to a printed image or photograph that I have seen and know feature him. I can not see my husband as he truly is when I close my eyes.
Other defining features of people include accent, turn of phrase (many people have an inbuilt favourite phrase that they use without cognition), hairstyle (It’s hard work when someone dyes their hair, myself included, I gave myself a fright in the mirror for months after bleaching my hair).
In photo’s of my children, I often confuse my sons. The way I know which is which is by analysing clues in the photo, such as which house is the picture in, which child did I buy that toy for, etc.
I am getting better at actors and actresses these last few years. I still look blank when someone says “That’s whatsisname”, as I neither know, nor care, in the most part. Gossip magazines, all the glamour of the showbiz world, are neither appealing, or comprehendable. Why on earth should I care if someone has been divorced for the 4th time?
Television is rare in our house, apart from the kids programs, and the news there are only one or two shows I watch in a week, and these will generally be ones where it is not important to follow a storyline through, as getting confused over which character is which, say in a soap opera, is such hard work.
I will be writing these looking back posts as I match up more things in my childhood with being Aspie 🙂