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InThisTogether
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07 Mar 2013, 7:18 pm

My son asked me an interesting question tonight...

"Mom, what is it called when you are reading, and pretty soon you don't even realize you are reading anymore because in your mind you see the story in pictures (like a movie)? Sometimes I don't even realize I am turning the pages anymore. I am just looking at the book and seeing the pictures. (Not a picture book...a novel)"

What is that called? Is it a non-NT thing? I have always been like this, too.


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goldfish21
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07 Mar 2013, 7:25 pm

Visual thinking / being a Visual Thinker.

I recall doing a bit of that getting lost in very vividly described books when I was younger, especially when I was 12yo & read "Ender's Game," a sci-fi novel by Orson Scott Card. I highly recommend it to anyone, but especially a visual thinker who can have the awesome visuals & dreams from it that I had. :)

Many of us do that, some to a greater extent than others. I know I do it when solving problems sometimes. The best thing to compare it to for someone who doesn't do it would be an episode of the show Numb3rs where the main character visualizes all of the components that go into a math problem and solves it watching the picture montage playing out in his head as he's talking, or in Criminal Minds when Doctor Spencer Reid does the same sort of thing.

Einstein & many others with AS traits were also thought to be Visual Thinkers. And while I've yet to read any of her books, Temple Grandin is probably the most famous one & has written a book called "Thinking in Pictures."

I'm not sure what they might be, but I've I do recall reading that there are different specialized ways of teaching and learning for people who are extremely visual thinkers.

edit: And yes, it's very much a spectrumite thing vs. an every single NT person does it thing. Some NT's may do it, I'm not sure, but I know it's a commonly documented trait among those of us w/ ASD.



InThisTogether
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07 Mar 2013, 7:54 pm

Interesting...although I know for sure that I am NOT a visual thinker. In fact, some times I have an incredibly hard time visualizing things, even familiar things.

Is it a type of hyperfocus, maybe? For me, especially when I was a kid, it was almost like (literally) getting lost in the book. The only way to "break the spell" was to physically touch me. For my son, he said he takes on one of the characters in the book. He sees the story through the character.

It is actually a very enjoyable experience. I wish I could have it more often. It also started an interesting convo between me and my son about the irony of ADD. You either cannot attend to things that you need to attend to, or you pay so much attention that the rest of the world melts away. Sometimes when I sew, an entire day will pass without me realizing it. It will feel like it was only an hour. Maybe something akin to Mihaly Csikszentmihaly's concept of flow?


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07 Mar 2013, 8:39 pm

I call it reading. I didn't know there was another way. If I was still aware of turning the pages and reading I wouldn't be getting anything from the book - obviously other people read very differently. News to me!



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07 Mar 2013, 8:42 pm

I wouldn't recommend Orson Scott Card to anyone, unless you buy his books used.

Like Nonperson, I call it reading. That's how reading works for me.



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07 Mar 2013, 8:50 pm

I always thought it was normal, too, until I mentioned it around a group of people and they looked at me like I was either making things up or crazy. Then I started thinking that maybe I was the only one who did it, until my son asked me about it and I realized he does it, too.


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07 Mar 2013, 9:35 pm

Quote:
I always thought it was normal, too, until I mentioned it around a group of people and they looked at me like I was either making things up or crazy.

Maybe they looked aghast because that's how reading is for most readers. Sort of, as if you'd asked; 'What's it called when you spill water into your mouth, then force it down with your throat muscles and feel a wonderful, cool satiety? And is it a non-NT thing?'



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07 Mar 2013, 9:48 pm

MountainLaurel wrote:
Quote:
I always thought it was normal, too, until I mentioned it around a group of people and they looked at me like I was either making things up or crazy.

Maybe they looked aghast because that's how reading is for most readers. Sort of, as if you'd asked; 'What's it called when you spill water into your mouth, then force it down with your throat muscles and feel a wonderful, cool satiety? And is it a non-NT thing?'


No...LOL! That's not how it went at all. We were talking about a book and I said that the actor who played a part in the movie was the same actor who played it when I read the book and they asked me what I meant and I said "You know...how you stop reading and see the movie instead." They said they read the words, and I said "You mean, like the whole time?" because for me, I start by reading the words, and if the book is bad or uninteresting, it never changes. But if it is good and I am interested in it, I lose the words and catch the movie instead.

If I ever asked most people IRL if something was non-NT or NT, they would have no idea what I was talking about. People outside of the world of autism do not use such lingo.


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07 Mar 2013, 9:52 pm

Often times my reading is so strictly visual that I'll misunderstand an idea because I am latching on to the first image the word activates. This happens in conversation too. Today I was reading a bodybuilding article geared toward women, and it said something like, you'll be happier with the results of these exercises than those cardio sessions and mickey mouse curls you saw in Cosmo. I kept thinking, since when were two giant curls on the top of your head a fashionable hairstyle? It wasn't until I read it again a day later that I understood they were talking about bicep curls -_-

This week I've been immersed in Thoreau's Walden. I keep forgetting that I'm really in an urban neighborhood until I look outside and see all the other houses surrounding me.


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seaturtleisland
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07 Mar 2013, 9:56 pm

Well I don't understand how you could continue to turn the pages and read without being aware of it. For me if I forgot I was reading I would probably stop reading because I wouldn't be able to turn the pages.

I think it's called absorption though.



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08 Mar 2013, 12:05 pm

This may explain why I could read some books that were well written and intresting to me and why I couldn't read others. Either my mind could get in to the story and visualize it(the only real way I learn from written print) or it would just stop working and wonder off to a better topic. I used to see the story from one charictiors perspective aswell though most books are written this way thats no surprise. I never thought this was something few could do. This would have been good info to know when I was still in school.



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08 Mar 2013, 12:22 pm

I read like that too. I get so absorbed that I lose touch with everything around me (not bad for someone with auditory sensitivity), and I imagine it all like a film. People can call my name and I will not hear them.

I don't think it's necessarily an autism thing to read like that (although perhaps there is more incidence of it in autistics). Here is an interesting link:

http://booksandculture13.wordpress.com/ ... -pleasure/


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08 Mar 2013, 12:50 pm

seaturtleisland wrote:
Well I don't understand how you could continue to turn the pages and read without being aware of it. For me if I forgot I was reading I would probably stop reading because I wouldn't be able to turn the pages.


It's even easier on an e-reader.


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08 Mar 2013, 12:55 pm

InThisTogether wrote:
No...LOL! That's not how it went at all. We were talking about a book and I said that the actor who played a part in the movie was the same actor who played it when I read the book and they asked me what I meant and I said "You know...how you stop reading and see the movie instead." .


I have said similar things (because I get absorbed like this in a book). What I have noticed is that the people who know what I'm talking about are the ones who read extensively for entertainment and the ones who are puzzled read for information or sporadic entertainment when there is absolutely nothing else to do. So I don't think it's an AS/NT split but rather a split along who gets absorbtive entertainment from a book and who doesn't.

Although I sometimes picture actual actors and actresses in my head as part of my movie, I have never yet had them be the same ones who were hired for the movie adaptation. My casting is always quite a bit different from Hollywood casting.



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08 Mar 2013, 12:56 pm

Whirlingmind, thanks for the link. I am going to let my son read it. He might find it interesting.


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08 Mar 2013, 1:03 pm

Janissy wrote:

Although I sometimes picture actual actors and actresses in my head as part of my movie, I have never yet had them be the same ones who were hired for the movie adaptation. My casting is always quite a bit different from Hollywood casting.


I usually don't "cast" real actors. If fact, the people when I am reading are often rather non-descript. But when I read Jurassic Park, Ian Malcolm was very strongly and noticably Jeff Goldblum. I was really tickled that he was in the movie, too. It was cool! :)


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