Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Do you see what I see?

with 20 comments

“I think in pictures.  Words are like a second language to me.”

Thinking in Pictures, Copyright © 1995, 2006 Temple Grandin, Vintage Books.

Our appointment with the optometrist took place.  She didn’t complete all the tests, but we are now armed with the knowledge that Pudding has a slight astigmatism in both eyes.  However, she demonstrated that she could read letters at a distance and close up.  We’re going to need to get her to complete more of the testing to figure out exactly how able she is to see.  Believe me when I say that this is easier said than done.

So I watch her all the time.  I follow her gaze and I try to work out if something is interesting to her.  It is clear or distorted?  Is it making much difference to her vision, or barely any?  Not surprisingly, but frustratingly, I can’t tell.  We are speaking different languages, with no translator to help.  She is learning my language, but I still struggle with hers.  I’m verbose, my ability to visualize is limited by that.  I think in words.

Still, seeing the world through Pudding’s eyes is always a breathtaking experience.  Yesterday we were waiting for the school bus to arrive, and she gazed up into the branches of a tree directly overhead.  She seemed to be in a trance for a while.  I looked up, but saw nothing but the twigs and branches of the tree, and the pale morning sky behind it.  I asked her what she saw, and she responded that she saw a bird.

I couldn’t see a bird.

I moved around to change my position in case it was obscured from my sight, but even after walking around, I still couldn’t see anything but the branches of a tree.  Perhaps her vision is much worse than I thought.  I asked her where it was, and she lifted her arm up in an approximation of a point, there.  Nothing.  Then I watched as she raised her finger again, and traced the letters of her name in the branches.

She sees with more than her eyes.

Later that day we went out for a walk and I took my camera with me.  I played around with the exposure until I got this image.  I really wanted to capture how things might look to her, with her eyes that take in too much light, and ever-so-slightly distort reality.  I may not see how she sees, but I think I found a bird and her name in there.

You just have to really want to see it.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

February 17, 2011 at 7:20 am

20 Responses

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  1. I think it’s lovely that you take the time to think and try to imagine how Pudding sees things.
    You are such a lovely Mom.
    Words are hard for me, pictures and film are so much easier.
    I guess that’s why I love your wordless Wednesdays.
    Love and hugs.
    Lisa. xx 🙂


    February 17, 2011 at 7:31 am

  2. Ok, this is officially my favourite post of yours!
    What a brilliant mother you are by trying to see things “through her eyes” .

    And I’m like you…..I also see in words NOT pictures. Hence my difficulty in understanding my boys a lot of the time!


    February 17, 2011 at 7:32 am

  3. Your striving to see though your child’s eyes, to experience the world as she experiences it, to know and understand her fully, is what makes you the wonderful parent that you are. You are inspiring.

    Varda (SquashedMom)

    February 17, 2011 at 7:33 am

  4. I always love your posts… today’s was wonderful, I love the idea of looking past what only our eyes see and to search for what our children see…. so terrfic!!


    February 17, 2011 at 7:47 am

  5. What a great idea! That’s just marvelous! Way to go, Mum!!


    February 17, 2011 at 8:10 am

  6. beautiful. It’s hard to stop and see the world from our kid’s point of view, but when we do, it’s magical. awesome.


    February 17, 2011 at 9:09 am

  7. I LOVE this post and how hard you try to see the world through your child’s eyes. I think in pictures too and I always appreciate it when someone takes time to understand where I am coming from. You are an incredible mom.


    February 17, 2011 at 9:49 am

  8. Pudding’s looks like an enchanted language. I am sure that her family will become fluent in it too.


    February 17, 2011 at 10:26 am

  9. Amazing. I am pretty sure I can see the bird. What a fascinating post and picture


    February 17, 2011 at 11:43 am

  10. It’s interesting how our children can see color, light, images, pictures–all in a form different than what I see. I wish I could get in my child’s mind and see, just once, what he see’s. I think you’ve captured some of that. Thank you.


    February 17, 2011 at 12:14 pm

  11. Thanks all, looking at things her way definitely makes me appreciate the efforts our kids make to get by in our world.

    Spectrummy Mummy

    February 17, 2011 at 6:04 pm

  12. Beautiful post – visiting from Blow your own blog horn x

    Paula (QWERTY mum)

    February 18, 2011 at 7:42 am

  13. What a lovely post. One of my friends is the same with her severely autistic son, always trying to see what he sees. You are both awesome.


    February 18, 2011 at 7:55 am

  14. My daughter has had eye problems from birth. They now have her seeing 20/30 and she is 12. Everything you were talking about she has. It is rough but with some therapy hopefully it will get better!

    Lynn Penton

    February 18, 2011 at 8:26 am

  15. Lovely post.
    I work with some children with autism and I’m currently learning how to tune in and see things through their eyes.


    February 18, 2011 at 3:20 pm

  16. This was poetically beautiful. For me, I’m always in a hurry and a lot of the time, I miss what my son is telling me. I think on it later and realize how simple it was really, if I had just listened better and thought about it. You have used more senses that just sight in understanding your daughter. It’s clear that you do so out of a great love. What a wonderful mother you are! Thanks for sharing this.


    February 18, 2011 at 4:41 pm

  17. Just beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing.

    via Blow Your Own Blog Horn


    February 20, 2011 at 5:33 am

  18. […] if it looks this different to me now, how does Pudding look at the world?  I still don’t know.  But I can tell you that she asked for a Rapunzel doll as her next […]

  19. […] words to see how many concepts she had figured out, and what we still needed to work on.  Helping her second language become her mother tongue.  And months have turned into years of offering a big or little choice, of trying to explain these […]

  20. […] was going cold.  Pudding began playing Jedi mind tricks on us, and I mused about how it might be to see things through her eyes.  I got a little more political than I intended.  I learned from Pudding that I too needed a […]

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