People looking like ants? huh?!

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lovelyboy
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25 Oct 2011, 6:29 am

I was watching a film with my 8 yr old who has AS.....during the film one of the scenes showed the guy looking at the croud around him....becoming further and further from him...blurring...making sounds without him hearing (you know like they show when some one is going to faint)...he said that he often feels like that.

He tried to explain it by saying if sometimes he looks at people they become smaller and smaller, even the kids on the playground becomes smaller and he looks like a giant....he says they become as small as ants! I was so surprised! I asked him if this doesn't make him scared, he says no because he is use to it...was like this since he was born?He went on telling me that when this happens, it's very difficult to look at people and that they then sometimes waves their hand infront of his face and say he must 'snap out of it'!Or call him to get his attention again....He says that when he shakes his head or blink a few times...they grow into the normal shape again.

But if it was like this since he was born, how does he know this is not like it's suppose to be? He says he doesn't think the problem is in his eyes, but in the way his brain interperate it....remarcable!

This makes me sad to think that we might be knowing so little of how our kids see and experience the world around them and then we still get upset if they struggle to cope!! !!

I don't know what he is trying to explain to me? Could this be anxiety causing this?


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Mummy_of_Peanut
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25 Oct 2011, 7:23 am

I might be wrong, but this sounds a lot like Alice in Wonderland syndrome www.aiws.info.

I've also had a strange sensation, which I think is similar, but it affects me differently. Every so often, everything seems small and my sensations are concentrated on the roof of my mouth, where my tongue touches (it's very hard to explain and I don't think what I've said can make much sense). My vision is unaffected.


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b9
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25 Oct 2011, 8:01 am

i did not see people as visually small as ants, but i always equated human society with ants when i was a child (and still do on one level).

ants all seem to walk purposefully, but in seemingly random directions, and when they cross paths, they stop and wave their antennae for a short while, and then they continue on their way. never the less, a complex nest gets built, and they all seem to mysteriously carry out their tiny portion of the overall effort of building it and feeding themselves.

that is like the world of humans. if i ponder the dynamics of people from a distance (which is my only option), then i see them similarly to when i study ants when i am sitting in the bush.



lovelyboy
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25 Oct 2011, 9:26 am

Thanx for the link on AIWS...interesingly that they refer to TLE...was considering this!


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Washi
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25 Oct 2011, 12:14 pm

I experience this ... I always figured it had to do with not focusing anywhere or having a strange focal point as a result of spacing out/day dreaming. I think if your focus turns within yourself then you feel small and everything seems big and if it's somewhere off in the distance you feel bigger than you are. If that makes any sense. I never realized it was an odd thing.



momsparky
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25 Oct 2011, 2:35 pm

It could be how your son experiences dissociation http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-dissoc ... mptoms.htm

I used to have this feeling of not quite being in my body; I kind of experienced it as though I was floating above and looking down on the scene; I could see how the feeling might be interpreted as people getting smaller.

Dissociation is associated most often with trauma, but I am realizing that I experienced this more when I was younger, before the stuff that caused my major depressions happened. I'm also realizing that I remember it most often in crowds, during music class or band - and adding two and two, I assume that means I was dissociating to manage sensory overload.

I have no idea if my experience is unique or not, but it is something that happens to me when I'm under stress. I don't think anybody but me notices, though I do have the sensation of struggling to respond to people (and I may well be responding more slowly than usual.)

The Alice In Wonderland thing is interesting: DS used to tell me that he'd get scared in class because it would seem like one of his teacher's hands or feet suddenly became huge. Hasn't happened in a while, though.



lovelyboy
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25 Oct 2011, 10:37 pm

Momsparky...I did ask the pdoc regarding dissociation...she said that it's normal for people under the age of 19 yr to have this....that teens experience it quite often! 8O


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hoegaandit
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26 Oct 2011, 7:39 am

It's interesting to read about such a relative altering of perception - does give one some insight into how different the perceptions of some persons with ASD may be. As a NT person, the closest I have gotten to that would be when very tired as a child, voices etc would start to sound very far away, and when sick once or twice I remember my fingers and hands feeling huge and bloated.



markitzero
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26 Oct 2011, 1:08 pm

I think I went through something like that when I was young but I think it was different. When it happen like when I was watching TV it would suddenly appear to my brain that is was across the house when I was close to it or I would get that felling when I would be on the Computer is that the screen was in front of me but it would appear further away even like across the room when my logic part of my brain knows it was in front of me.


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mumsy-r
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13 Nov 2011, 7:37 pm

There's a cartoon film called "Ants" (I think). Both my little lads love it.
J liked to go "see the ants" in our garden when he could barely walk / talk. He'd spend ages just watching them.
They're interesting creatures - great teamwork - but all with different specialities / jobs.
Wouldn't it be great if us humans could interact like that?



sogj
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14 Nov 2011, 1:41 am

This used to happen to me a lot as a kid but it was a little more violent. Instead of everyone slowly becoming smaller everything would just start getting bigger and smaller and bigger and smaller really really fast. I would have to physically shake myself for a few seconds to reset my brain.


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angelgarden
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14 Nov 2011, 8:00 am

I remember that sensation a lot when I was a kid. Typically I think it happened when I was stressed, although at the time I don't know that I would have admitted/known I was stressed. Looking back, I know it was typically in social situations or moments of sensory overload or stress. Used to get migraines in middle school too.
(I'm not AS, but I think my son may have inherited a few traits from me--a couple sensory issues and some mild social awkwardness.) But the 'people as ants' thing . . . very, very interesting. Because I hadn't thought about it in a long time. Just figured everyone experienced it at some point!



b9
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14 Nov 2011, 10:20 am

people do not literally look like ants obviously.

but they behave in a similar way to ants, and so on that level, they "look" like ants.



lovelyboy
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14 Nov 2011, 10:54 pm

b9 wrote:
people do not literally look like ants obviously.

but they behave in a similar way to ants, and so on that level, they "look" like ants.


LOL b9....it's about the size! :D


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Oldest son, 10 yrs old, diagnosed with AS and anxiety and OCD traids