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adromedanblackhole
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07 Oct 2020, 11:53 pm

This is not a scholarly article, I am not a scholar or expert in the field of autism or blindness.
But came across this lately. Granted, it is referencing children who are completely blind experiencing extreme autism.
I am legally blind in my left eye, and left handed - left-handedness has a strong correlation with Asperger's.
This article is discussing total blindness and severe autism. My curiosity: if total blindness correlates to severe autism, could partial blindness or other such severe vision issues correlate with mild autism?
Curious if other Aspie/HFA's are also visually impaired.
https://www.spectrumnews.org/opinion/vi ... blindness/



aquafelix
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09 Oct 2020, 4:27 am

Sorry, I can't provide a perspective of a vision impaired with autism, but I'm aware that autism is associated with all sorts of physiological and neurological conditions I never thought had anything to do with autism. So, maybe there could be a link of some kind, but I don't know enough about vision impairments to give an opinion that is worth anything.



Mountain Goat
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09 Oct 2020, 4:52 am

It is interesting that it was mentioned the area of the brain that caused the issues with blindness also causes faceblindness (Which I have) and motor control issues (Which I am normally fine with but if I am getting a partial or a full shutdown, motor control IS definately effected, and actually in a full shutdown, for me the defining difference between a deeper end of a partial shutdown and a full shutdown is that my vision is lost. I am already on the floor unable to use my body just before the blind moment comes. I also get loud tinitus with it which goes from a medium note to a low note as my eyesight blackens. So the area of the brain mentioned that caused the blindness for the blind people is this same area that can be causing the issues for me in a milder way?
I need to take another look at the link. I can then ask my neighbour as she is a brain surgeon... I wonder...

Quoted from the link the origional poster put up. (Rubin Jure. spectrumnews.org).

Researchers need to nail down the brain mechanisms that account for the autism-blindness overlap. One place to start looking is a brain region called the superior colliculus. This structure receives direct input from the retina. It is involved in not only the recognition of faces and biological movement but also the integration of sensory input with emotions, basic body functions and motor planning — functions that are often altered in autism.


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Juliette
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09 Oct 2020, 7:23 am

This is a field that I’ve worked in. Both autistic and congenitally blind children have difficulty in making sense of their worlds. The development of the sense of Self is the core issue of “being autistic” and the Self is always referenced to external structure. If you’re on the spectrum you will have particular difficulties understanding that others have thoughts, needs, wishes and beliefs that may be different from your own ... something that can be understood with maturation, but this may not ever develop in some. Just as self control may never be achieved for some.

Naturally, if another’s point of view can’t be appreciated, then social situations must be quite frightening and unpredictable. This lack of shared understanding of what interests others, explains the autistic child or adults insistence on talking about their own topics of interest.

When infants and young children are visually impaired, their access to information is restricted, and they’re at risk for developmental delays and other learning difficulties. When a visual impairment occurs with hearing loss, access to information is even more restricted. I became totally deaf recently over several months, researched and overcame this, but there’s no question in my mind, that I definitely became more “in my own world” if you like during that time and I relied on the senses I could use, to get me through. I was affected movement-wise, vestibular-wise, where having been a gymnast in the past, I’d come to rely on my sense of balance.

The first thing that struck me about blind children was just how similar they are to autistic children I’d worked with. The behaviours, the importance of providing sensory play etc. Lilli Nielsen’s groundbreaking work, introducing the Snoezelen Room had a huge impact. Reading the books “Cradle of Thought” , “Autism and the Development of Mind”, Hobson. Articles such as “Autism & Visual Impairment - Making Sense” by F. Boyce & F. Hammond(Scottish Sensory Centre Website. “Blindness and Autism: What is the relationship between blindness and autism-like difficulties in children.”

Autism and visual impairment are obviously two separate conditions, but there’s no question that the two can occur together(this is seen in rubella in pregnancy). There’s no doubt that the behaviour of autistic children/adults is similar in many ways to that of those with visual impairment ... “blindisms”. It’s not the fact that visual impairment and autism leads to the same kinds of behavioural response that’s important, more the reasons behind this sharing of symptoms. Autism itself is often seen as a form of blindness, and often used as a metaphor. The disturbance of routine in a child/adult on the spectrum can be likened to the disorientation felt by someone who is blind when the furniture arrangement is changed.

There are also common features in the language development of autistic children and in those with visual impairment. In particular, two distinctive features of “autistic language” echolalia and reversal of personal pronouns - these are more easily overcome in visual impaiment alone, than in autism.

Anyhow, interesting topic. In answer to your question ... yes it could correlate, but this is in relation to behaviours ...



adromedanblackhole
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09 Oct 2020, 8:20 am

The curiosity is:
If total blindness and severe autism correlate, does partial blindness and/or vision impairment (extreme myopia, lazy eye etc) correlate with mild autism/Asperger's/HFA



Juliette
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09 Oct 2020, 8:52 am

The answer is that although you might see similar behaviours or patterns that overlap with autism in someone with any of those conditions, this doesn’t mean that they could be said to be “autistic”. They are separate conditions and require addressing separately. eg You can be completely blind in one eye ... but be very social, the life of the party in fact, an organiser of events and very empathic.



adromedanblackhole
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09 Oct 2020, 11:37 am

Juliette wrote:
The answer is that although you might see similar behaviours or patterns that overlap with autism in someone with any of those conditions, this doesn’t mean that they could be said to be “autistic”. They are separate conditions and require addressing separately. eg You can be completely blind in one eye ... but be very social, the life of the party in fact, an organiser of events and very empathic.

The question was addressed to other Aspies for them to share about their vision issues. Of course a person "could" be those qualities you described above, except there is already a body of research on how low vision generally correlates with a lack of self confidence.
Thank you for sharing what you know.



Juliette
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09 Oct 2020, 11:40 am

You’re welcome. I am an Aspie(with vision issues) and the person I described above was a woman, also Aspie who is blind in one eye.



adromedanblackhole
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09 Oct 2020, 11:51 am

Juliette wrote:
You’re welcome. I am an Aspie(with vision issues) and the person I described above was a woman, also Aspie who is blind in one eye.

Neato, 2 other Aspie women with compromised vision.
I can pretend to be outgoing and social I just lack motivation and the energy these days.