Autism/Aspergers - vision / perception

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Emu Egg
Emu Egg

Joined: 15 Jan 2018
Age: 25
Gender: Female
Posts: 1

15 Jan 2018, 3:55 pm

I'm here because of my boyfriend who has highly functioning autism.
And I wonder if anyone have the same sight/vision or know what it might be like. I talked to him about how he sees things.
Then he said that his vision is flat and that he only sees colors no shapes ,but he can distinguish things through color, for example if there is a person in front of him then he can perceive that there is a person through the color that creates a silhouette. But he does not see the person or if it's a person, even if he looks straight ahead. He see things like silhouettes .(Hope you understand what I mean).
He says that his vision works in this way all the time except when he actually focuses and wants to see something. Only then he sees the shapes and everything clearly, it is not flat vision anymore.
There is nothing wrong with his eyes his vision is 20/20. He says that this happens automatically unconsciously, depending on whether he wants to see what he perceives or not.
I have never understood by his behavior that he vision work differently.
I Would be grateful if you shared your thoughts and experiences that may be similar to this and why his vision works in this way.
Sorry for my bad english, english is not my native language


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Joined: 15 Feb 2013
Age: 64
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15 Jan 2018, 4:29 pm

It sounds like he might lack 3D vision, because his eyes doesn´t cooperate (nothing to do with bad eye-sight).
The problem is, then, that his brain will suppress one eye, because it is hard for it to coordinate two pictures - with loss of stereo-vision as result. (Stereo-vision is controlled by the brain).
If this is the case, it can be trained by an ortoptometrist - an optometrist, who deals with eye-brain communication.
Some pilots have had to train, because their brain only took report from one eye.

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Joined: 2 Feb 2016
Age: 47
Gender: Male
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Location: Yorkshire, UK

15 Jan 2018, 5:15 pm

Welcome to WrongPlanet!

It's possible that this is caused by his brain trying to reduce the amount of information that it has to process. Especially when I'm tired or anxious, I go into a dissociated state where the world around me doesn't quite seem real, and I can have trouble picking out objects. So I'm more the other way around, I see 3D mostly, but the "patches of colour in different shapes" only in more extreme circumstances. I have something similar which happens more often, but with my understanding of speech. If someone interrupts me when I'm in the middle of doing something or lost in thought, there are often a few seconds during which I can hear the noises coming out of their mouth and understand that they are speaking to me, but cannot recognise the sounds as words. This kind of thing is often called "partial shutdown", and it can be surprisingly selective - actions which use other parts of the brain can be barely affected at all.

Getting the feeling that our brains have too much to process can be common for autistic people. Everyone's brain has parts which filter our senses so that our consciousness only sees what is important or relevant. But this often doesn't work so well for autistic people, so that we perceive a mad rush of details and struggle to see the "big picture". It could be that his "2D vision" helps to reduce the amount of information his brain has to process, until he decides to focus on a particular aspect of it. In psychology terms, this would probably be described as Visual Agnosia, but in a selective way rather than permanent.

It should be noted, of course, that none of us here are qualified to say for sure - this is just a suggestion that you or your boyfriend might want to explore if the description rings true.

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