Do I have place blindness or something else?

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Blue Jay
Blue Jay

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Joined: 19 Apr 2011
Age: 36
Gender: Female
Posts: 83

27 Apr 2015, 4:38 pm

I'm wondering if anyone else has a similar memory problem to me. I have heard of place blindness and wonder if that is what I have but I'm not sure that it describes the problems I have.
Basically I cant remember very much about places I have been to, usually on holiday. I can remember pictures of certain things such as a picture of the front of the hotel I stopped in or a picture of a monument I visited but when I recall them these pictures don't have any story to them they could be any place at any time, as I can't remember the context of the picture in my mind.
I have a similar problem when I am going somewhere new I tend to remember the route by memorizing where I have to turn at certain landmarks or count the streets so that I know when to turn but I couldn't draw a map because I can only see pictures of certain road junctions and not what order they come in or what the straight bits of road in between look like.
I often match up the pictures in my mind wrongly and think a road leads to a place that it doesn't or I have very good memories of a hotel I stayed in 5 times and I can't remember where in the world that hotel was.
I do get very anxious when I go on holiday particularly on the first day I feel sick and shakey as it is a new place and I don't know whats going to happen next. I wonder whether I am so overwhelmed with information that I only remember snippets. and that's why I don't seem to remember as much information as other people. However this wouldn't explain why I only remember pictures of junctions but not whole streets so I couldn't describe how to get to the other side of my home town where I have lived all my life.
I would be grateful for any suggestions as to what my memory problems might be and how to improve it.


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Joined: 13 Jun 2004
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27 Apr 2015, 4:52 pm

it sounds like you're geographically/spatially challenged which some people on the spectrum do have issues with even though I don't personally (i'm actually the opposite).

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Joined: 4 Feb 2014
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27 Apr 2015, 5:06 pm

I have something similar:

In that I usually don't remember what was in a room I had been 30 seconds previously. I might remember general details of the room (somewhat incorrectly at times)--but as for specifics, I'm pretty bad.


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Joined: 30 Mar 2014
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27 Apr 2015, 5:36 pm

You do remember places, you just lack the sense of direction so you can't turn your memories into maps of their spatial relation.
Apparently many ASD people have such problem. Call it place blindness or no sense of direction, whatever.

I cannot give you much advice because I am one of the few Aspies gifted with "builded in GPS". It borders with savantic ability and I rely on it a lot. To be honest I cannot imagine how would it be to finction without my sense of direction. It is almost as strong as sense of smell in my case. I open my eyes and I instantly feel what direction "home" is.

But I am not lucky enough to not have any "blindness". I have face blindness or rather "human blindness" (because I not only have problem with faces but I also have trouble remembering haircolor, clothes, names, age, height and other "distinguishable" features). Pretty much all people look like strangers to me and almost all of my classmates are just "a classmate"(and there is just about 8 of them in my class so I should remember them...).
I cannot remember which classmate I talked or done my project with. If someone asks me "Did you see Robert recently?" I will look stunned and ask "Which one is that?". I will recall something only if someone tells me where the guy usually sits(his spatial placement is an point on my classroom spatial map). I won't get anything from "You know, the one with brown hair." - in my memory pretty much everyone has brown hair (everyone from dark brown to medium blond looks same if I try to recall them). I recall only true black, light blond and red haired people.