Fragmentation: do you relate to this concept?

Page 1 of 2 [ 30 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

XSara
Blue Jay
Blue Jay

Joined: 12 Sep 2016
Gender: Female
Posts: 88
Location: italy

12 Jun 2021, 2:13 pm

"For many autistic individuals, fragmentation of the world is not just a metaphor, it is real. Because of gestalt perception, when too much information needs to be processed simultaneously, very often children with autism are not able to ‘break’ the whole picture into conventional units and to interpret objects, people, and surroundings as constituents of a whole situation. Instead, they process ‘bits’ that happen to get their attention. Where we may see a room, an autistic person sees a door handle, a leg of the table, a coin on the floor, etc. As fragmented perception can affect all the senses, these ‘bits and pieces’ may be visual, auditory, olfactory, etc.

The perception of parts instead of wholes and utilizing only a very limited amount of available information is known as stimulus overselectivity. It results in that the autistic children often react upon parts of objects or people as being complete entities. Without perceiving separate units as integrated parts of a whole, it is impossible to interpret the situation. Everything seems to be conceptually a separate and unrelated entity.

In the state of fragmented processing, the person has a great difficulty to deal with people as not only they seem to consist of many unconnected pieces but also the movements of these ‘bits of people’ are unpredictable. The strategy to cope with the problem is to avoid people and never look at them. It does not mean that they cannot see an entire person (at perceptual level).

They seem to be unable to process the meaning of an entire person but process them bit by bit instead. As a result, the mental image of a ‘collection of bits’ is meaningless and often frightening. Fragmentation complicates the interpretation of facial expressions and body language and thus hinders or even blocks the development of non-verbal communication.

They often select for attention minor aspects of objects in the environment instead of the whole scene or person. They may look at the person and see his eye, then they shift their attention and see his ear, then his nose, his hand. The person seems to be bits of a jigsaw that do not make sense.

Fragmentation may be felt in all sensory modalities.

For example:

Nick hears ‘bits’ of sentences that cannot be combined into a meaningful message.
Leslie ‘sees in bits’ and his typical complains are: “Her leg disturbs me” or “The cat’s head has turned round”
Alex (with ‘proprioceptive fragmentation’) is sure that he (like everybody else) has two foreheads and always asks his mother to kiss ‘both’ – ‘this one and that one’.

As some individuals with autism perceive everything in pieces they need time to adjust to different surroundings. As the number of objects seen by them is greater (because they see different images of one and the same object from different angles), they do not feel safe in this chaos of things and people. As a consequence of this fragmented perception autistic individuals exhibit maintenance of sameness, resistance to change, anxiety in unfamiliar places.

People with Asperger syndrome (especially women) are reported to have a very poor sense of direction. When they approach even a familiar street from an unusual direction, they do not immediately recognize it.

Perception ‘in bits’ results in that autistic individuals define people, places and things by these bits. As they process what they perceive piece by piece and not as a whole, they recognize things and people by the ‘sensory pieces’ they have stored as their definitions.

For example; they may ‘recognize’ their mother by the colour of her dress and may not recognize her if she wears a dress of different colour, or they may know people and objects by smell, sound they produce, tone of their voice, the way they move, etc."



funeralxempire
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 27 Oct 2014
Age: 36
Gender: Non-binary
Posts: 13,384
Location: I'm right here

12 Jun 2021, 2:15 pm

I relate to a few of the examples.


_________________
the problem with capitalism is that eventually you run out of other people's resources and cheap labour to exploit
戦争ではなく戦争と戦う


Edna3362
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 29 Oct 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 8,101
Location: ᜆᜄᜎᜓᜄ᜔

12 Jun 2021, 2:40 pm

The disconnection usually happens to me when I'm too exhausted.
Unable to afford to take the sheer quantity of details.
Then becoming very inattentive to details AND unable to connect in between.


As a child, it usually involves words and emotions the most. All bits and no wholes that makes it in between. Yet it's mostly fine since I can compensate -- except around emotions.

Most of the sensory parts were fine.
Still can get all the details without losing the wholes.


But as I grew older, I get less energetic. Gradually becoming more inattentive.
And gradually my senses starting to blur badly and in blurry pieces, as if it's some form of shutdown.
Bad enough to apparently develop processing and memory issues. Unable to access my work arounds and compensation, only replaced by overwhelmed static.
I might be becoming clumsier because of this, even if I've been doing something right my whole life.

Something is wrong with me. And it's not autism.

Then there were times I got lucky.
When I wake up with all the energy restored and my mental faculties back, the vividness and details comes back. It may last a day or less than a week. Depends.

The connection in-between the details, while not complete, it is still easier to unstuck myself and compensate this way.


_________________
Gained Number Post Count (1).
Lose Time (n).


ToughDiamond
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 15 Sep 2008
Age: 68
Gender: Male
Posts: 8,282

12 Jun 2021, 4:21 pm

I can relate to it to some extent, but with me I think it's more a case of using unconventional "handles" in my conception of whatever I'm looking at, which is rather like your example of the child recognising the mother by the colour of her dress. I think one of the things that held me back in my education (and still does) is that I can't relate to the teacher's proposed "handles" for the information they're giving me. I create my own. I have trouble embracing the terms they introduce, and often prefer to create my own terms based on my own viewpoint and prior knowledge of the subject, because their terms don't readily map onto what I already know.

The sensory data I'm exposed to doesn't seem particularly fragmented to me. I find it interesting that once again, consistent with the description I've written above, I'm failing to relate to your term ("fragmentation"). I can't think of a particularly good single-word term to replace it with - I'd just say I was labelling things differently and seeing things from a different perspective. Maybe I'd call it "the different-handles thing." Not that I'm trying to invalidate your idea. By reading it I've been able to better understand an aspect of my ASD that's only very recently been more than a blurred idea in my thinking.



CinderashAutomaton
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

User avatar

Joined: 11 Jun 2021
Age: 36
Gender: Male
Posts: 62
Location: Canada

12 Jun 2021, 4:43 pm

Not when it comes to perception.

Rather, it's my decision making that suffers. There's just too much to consider. Perhaps this is a primary source for my selective mutism.


_________________
Thank you deeply for sharing your experiences. I don't feel so alone anymore.


IsabellaLinton
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 1 Nov 2017
Gender: Female
Posts: 40,188

12 Jun 2021, 7:24 pm

I relate to that article quite a bit. I've learned in Occupational Therapy that the reason I'm photophobic or sensitive to light, is because it allows me to see too many colours and shapes at once. In daylight there's too much visual input for me to process and I shut down. I assumed that it had something to do with bright light hurting my eyes (it does), but the clutter idea resonates very much for me. I like darkness because I only illuminate a few points of interest at once. Everything looks the same colour (dark, or candlelit). It's not so chaotic and I don't have to focus on details.

The same is true with my face blindness. I don't look at people's faces at all because it's too much information all at once. Their facial features, their expressions and feelings, their makeup, their extras (glasses, earrings, face masks) all have details and it's too much for me. I'd rather look at the ground, or something familiar and unchanging.

I'm definitely a details person as most of you see in my writing. I don't do big picture thinking or processing. My friend is studying to be a Gestalt psychologist. I can't relate to anything she learns. I can't think that way at all because I have to break everything I encounter into pieces before I can conceptualise. I use inductive reasoning because I can't deconstruct or do deductive thinking.



Dear_one
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 2 Feb 2008
Age: 72
Gender: Male
Posts: 4,904
Location: Where the Great Plains meet the Northern Pines

12 Jun 2021, 7:58 pm

For me, this is not about losing sight of the big picture, but about having some details remain unusually distinct. When I see a domestic cat eating, I also see a wild cat starving.



blazingstar
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 19 Nov 2017
Age: 67
Gender: Female
Posts: 4,913

13 Jun 2021, 6:50 am

I'm not sure of the fragmentation bit, but I certainly relate to the chaos of things and people, bit. I'd have to think about it some more.

I avoid large crowds for this reason.

I have exceptionally good direction sense in a natural environment, not so much in cities where the roads curve and weave instead of staying straight (like they are supposed to. :lol: )


_________________
paralysis by over-analysis


ToughDiamond
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 15 Sep 2008
Age: 68
Gender: Male
Posts: 8,282

13 Jun 2021, 12:04 pm

blazingstar wrote:
I certainly relate to the chaos of things and people, bit. I'd have to think about it some more.

I avoid large crowds for this reason.

I have exceptionally good direction sense in a natural environment, not so much in cities where the roads curve and weave instead of staying straight (like they are supposed to. :lol: )

Interesting. I do get some sense of giddiness from too much seemingly disorganised sensory data, but I'm also often surprisingly comfortable with the numerous fragments. For example, with ASD itself, I don't concern myself much with whether or not I have that, I'm much more comfortable looking at the individual traits because those can be more objectively assessed. So for me it's a mixture - labels can be very helpful in simplifying a large disorderly swathe of data, but labels can often be a fudged construct, a separation from reality - they are necessarily reductionist.



HeroOfHyrule
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 May 2020
Age: 19
Gender: Non-binary
Posts: 5,714
Location: Pacific Northwest

13 Jun 2021, 12:25 pm

I can relate, but I am able to figure out the "bigger picture", it's just very exhausting and takes awhile since I have to kind of piece it together, piece by piece. I also experience that the things I am drawn to look at are just more distinct to me, for some reason. Little details stick out more than the whole of something.

I also always look at the ground when I am outside, because I find trying to look at and piece together all of the details of my surroundings very overwhelming. I avoid looking at people because of the same thing, and I have even more pressure to piece together the details of their level of eye contact, the things that make up their facial expressions, their body language and gestures, etc. so I can properly communicate with them.


_________________
I use he/him pronouns.

I like playing video games, watching cartoons and anime, reading, and cooking.

I have two cats, a rabbit, and a dog. I also enjoy learning + cataloguing information about different types of animals and plants.

Empathy Quotient: 34/80
Systemizing Quotient: 104/150
Friendship Quotient: 56/140
Autism Quotient: 36/80

RAADS-R: 169

CAT-Q: 153
Compensation: 57
Masking: 47
Assimilation: 49

Your broader autism cluster (Aspie) score: 144 of 200.
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 63 of 200.
You are very likely on the broader autism cluster (Aspie).


skibum
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 18 Jul 2013
Age: 54
Gender: Female
Posts: 7,207
Location: my own little world

13 Jun 2021, 2:00 pm

Welcome to WP XSara. This makes so much sense. I wonder if this happens to me sometimes but I know that it does not happen to me all the time. But when I am exhausted, I think it be happening to me. I am really curious about this.


_________________
"I'm bad and that's good. I'll never be good and that's not bad. There's no one I'd rather be than me."

Wreck It Ralph


BeaArthur
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 11 Aug 2015
Posts: 5,775

13 Jun 2021, 3:16 pm

XSara, the article was interesting, and I felt it was somewhat relatable to my experience.

Could you please provide the source, citation, etc?


_________________
A finger in every pie.


kraftiekortie
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Feb 2014
Gender: Male
Posts: 77,136
Location: Queens, NYC

13 Jun 2021, 3:19 pm

I’d be up s**t’s creek without a paddle were I to perceive the world this way.

I’m just not smart enough to adapt to this.



ASPartOfMe
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 63
Gender: Male
Posts: 25,881
Location: Long Island, New York

13 Jun 2021, 5:14 pm

Is this just a new way of describing what has been called "hyper-focusing as a coping mechanism for multitasking difficulties?


_________________
Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity.

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


XSara
Blue Jay
Blue Jay

Joined: 12 Sep 2016
Gender: Female
Posts: 88
Location: italy

14 Jun 2021, 7:57 am

BeaArthur wrote:
XSara, the article was interesting, and I felt it was somewhat relatable to my experience.

Could you please provide the source, citation, etc?


i took it from here :
https://www.integratedtreatmentservices ... tion-bits/

This website thought doesn't cite any source.
So i had to go find them on my own. For example:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4442733/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3679259/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16450045/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weak_cent ... nce_theory
http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?scr ... 0000100036
https://thebrainissocool.com/2014/01/24 ... l-gestalt/



XSara
Blue Jay
Blue Jay

Joined: 12 Sep 2016
Gender: Female
Posts: 88
Location: italy

14 Jun 2021, 8:01 am

ASPartOfMe wrote:
Is this just a new way of describing what has been called "hyper-focusing as a coping mechanism for multitasking difficulties?


it's about many things. it can be about processing issues (smell sensitivity, sinesthesia, light sensitivity, sound sensitivity etc...) and it can also be correlated to hyperfocus, which is a tendency towards stimulus over-selectivity or, more simply, towards seeing the parts instead of the wholes.