Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Posts Tagged ‘Paris

Wordless Wednesday 02 May 12

with 10 comments


Today is my birthday! My body thinks it is 68, my brain is stuck at 17, so 34 fits quite nicely. I'm posting a picture of the Eiffel Tower I took when I was in Paris for my 30th, because I vow to be back there for my 40th and each year is taking me closer. Happy Wordless Wednesday!

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

May 2, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Mixed Signals

with 18 comments

I’ve often thought about how all the seemingly insignificant moments in my life have later turned out to be important in preparing me for what lies ahead.  Oh wow, that is pretentious and naval-gazing even for a blogger!  Yet that is kind of my point here, so bear with me.

Once upon a time, long before I met Spectrummy Daddy, I was a young student.  When I went to university, I couldn’t decide which of my two favourite subjects I preferred, so I found a course that let me do both.  I became a joint French and Sociology student, which is the best way to find yourself unemployed after you graduate, unless you decide to do voluntary work for a few years as I did, which is also the perfect antidote to becoming too pretentious.  What seemed to be a terrible combination was actually as good a set-up for my current life as any other.  Really though, I just liked the meeting of artsy French and studying social activity.

One course I was drawn to in my French class was called Novel and Anti-novel.  I love reading novels, so I thrived on that aspect of the course, with work by Flaubert and Stendhal.  But the other part of the course, the antinovel, I loathed.  It was too pretentious even for 19 year-old me, and let me tell you, she was pretentious.  Anti-novels are works (mostly fiction) that don’t follow the normal conventions of a novel.  They are frequently non-linear, and aim to transcend the traditional novel form.  See, pretentious?

My least favourite amongst them was the book Nadja by surrealist Andre Breton.  It explored the author’s fascination with an eccentric young woman named Nadja in Paris.  I’d wanted to like it, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea.  It seemed the most incoherent, confusing, and pointless book I’d ever read.  It was also the first time I’d ever heard of synaesthesia, and I assumed the last.  During the surrealist movement, people such as Breton were fascinated by the phenomenon, exploring this mix-up of senses through music and art.  It was irrelevant to me, and I assumed the invention of artsy, attention-loving, non-conformists.

Now I’m convinced that it is yet another insignificant moment that turns out to be pertinent.

Spot the aspies, synesthete, and Dick who is taunting them by being loud.

My understanding of synaesthesia (synesthesia in the US) is that it is a neurological condition in which certain sensory input is redirected and interpreted as a different sense, as though the wires are crossed.  For example, sounds are seen as specific colours.  Here is a better explanation.

Unlike Sensory Processing Dysfunction, where the brain over or under responds to a stimuli, here the brain interprets that stimuli through a different pathway.  Here is a post describing the difference between the two.

Pudding also seems to mix up her senses.  Recently we were at the playground, when somebody nearby decided to mow their lawn.  Pudding’s least favourite sound.  Instead of covering her ears to protect herself from the sound, Pudding screwed her eyes shut, and covered her eyes with her hands.  She has done this for a couple of years, but I’d never before put the connection to a French lecture I’d struggled to understand years previously.

I wonder if there are many other children on the spectrum whose are also experiencing synaesthesia, together with the confusion of SPD.

I wonder if this is why music and art therapy appear to be beneficial for kids like Pudding.

I wonder if Pudding’s recent breakthrough with writing happened because she was listening to modulated music at the time.

Lastly, I wonder if I should give Nadja a second read.  After all, her name is Russian for Hope, and from what I can remember, that character bears a few similarities to someone else I know, and (adorable) artsy, attention-loving, non-conformists are just my thing these days.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

May 17, 2011 at 7:26 am