I met a lady at an autism conference this year who has expertise in sensory integration I described to her how I “see” the world and access it – she said there is a simple test it involves a pen at the midline of your focus and vision as she moves the pen she asks me to track the pen my eyes darted and had to “re-focus” as I could not follow the movement properly and process the visuals either.
Visual Perception Disorders
This would also make sense of why I see things in pieces (simultagnosia), problems processing faces (prosopagnosia), integrating visual information, visual semantic recognition (semantic agnosia). I found this revelation very interesting and informative.
Cortical Visual Impairment/Disorder Article
Not all types of visual deficits caused by CVI will affect visual acuity. For example, in cortical visual dysfunction (CVD)16, the predominant visual deficit is not visual acuity loss, but rather disturbances in visual perception and integration. In higher-functioning children with CVI or CVD, specific visual disorders such as agnosias may be diagnosed. These include cerebral motion blindness or cerebral akinetopsia (the inability to perceive moving targets), simultanagnosia (the inability to focus on more than one visual object at a time), central achromatopsia16 (color desaturation), prosopagnosia (difficulty in recognizing faces), topographic agnosia (problems with orientation; see section on rehabilitation), and astereocognosis (difficulty with depth perception)17. Thus, although not all children with CVD have associated CVI, certain children with CVI (with loss of visual acuity) may show signs of CVD
“The most common cause of CVI is an hypoxic-ischemic injuryl-3,10,19,20. At least 60% of children with neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy have cerebral visual impairment12. Hypoxia (lack of oxygen) or ischemia (tissue death due to loss of blood flow, and thus oxygen deprivation) in the preterm baby leads to a characteristic injury of the brain, namely periventricular leukomalacia (PVL)21,22, which can be detected by MRI.”
Originally appeared in Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology 2001, 43: 56-60
This would make sense of the the following visual perceptual issues I have
- Akinetophsia (motion blindness) – I believe I could have this as a result of simultagnosia (a problem with visually processing integrating the whole picture) this can lead to a “juddering” effect with my vision
- Simultagnosia (object blindness) – “seeing” things in “bits” and or “fragments” not being able to integrate the pieces into meaningful chunks this could also be considered a form of context blindness.
- Prosopagnosia (face blindness) – Not being able to recognise a person by their face this can lead to the persons using other forms of “recognition” such as voice, patterns of movement, placement, touching, sniffing hair, name tags etc.
What Has Helped?
From a personal perspective tinted lenses have had a great impact on how I process visual information and integrate it. The lenses have also helped with
- Body posture
- Movement of my legs (not so “heavy footed”)
- Reading and writing (dyslexia and dyscalculia)
- Light sensitivity (sensory integration disorder)
- Eye contact
- Concentration and focus
- Integrating visual perceptual information (even if I don’t understand the semantics/meanings this still helps)
Remember All Autism “Fruit Salads” Are Different
That also includes not only what the fruit salad is made up of but also the origins that made them.
Paul Isaacs 2014