I don't "get" this kid...... he "sees colors".... So, explain this to me.. - Mothering Forums
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Parenting > I don't "get" this kid...... he "sees colors".... So, explain this to me..
nextcommercial's Avatar nextcommercial 10:42 AM 06-24-2011

And, explain it NOT in 8 yr old terms.

 

I have a drop in daycare boy here today.  He's pretty much had enough of me, because I don't "get him".  And, I don't.

 

Apparently everything has a color.  Feelings, illness, pain, words, names, and how fast something is, has it's own color.  For instance gray and green are slower than yellow.  The letters in my name each have a different color.  He showed me.  Oddly, the first two are shades of orange, which happens to be my favorite color.

 

He claims this is how he sees everything.  Even if I wrote the Letter B in blue, it's not blue, it's green.  The number 8 is also green.  

 

So.... enlighten me on this.  I'm sure there has to be an actual name for this because he's positive he's not just being creative.  It's a very real thing.  

 



Magella's Avatar Magella 10:46 AM 06-24-2011
Bokonon's Avatar Bokonon 10:53 AM 06-24-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by Magella View Post

Synesthesia? http://web.mit.edu/synesthesia/www/ 



Sounds like it to me too.

 

I have this, but not as extreme as the boy in the OP.  I see letters and numbers in colors, and thought everyone did too until about 3 years ago when someone else mentioned that they have this and then I realized it wasn't "normal", LOL.


CatsCradle's Avatar CatsCradle 10:55 AM 06-24-2011

It does sound like a form of synesthesia where people perceive/hear/see words/numbers as colors.  If you go to sciencedaily.com and search for synesthesia, they have a bunch of articles on it.  I read an article once that it was once linked to autism, but much is understood about it.


nextcommercial's Avatar nextcommercial 10:57 AM 06-24-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by Magella View Post

Synesthesia? http://web.mit.edu/synesthesia/www/ 


 "Synesthesia could possibly be as prevalent as 1 in 23 persons across its range of variants"... I have never heard of something like this.  If it's this common, I wonder why I've never met anyone who's told me this?  Or maybe it takes an 8 yr old to be so open about it.  (although he's not that open... he's actually kindof rude about it.  LMBO!  I even got the eye roll)

 


CatsCradle's Avatar CatsCradle 11:08 AM 06-24-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post




 "Synesthesia could possibly be as prevalent as 1 in 23 persons across its range of variants"... I have never heard of something like this.  If it's this common, I wonder why I've never met anyone who's told me this?  Or maybe it takes an 8 yr old to be so open about it.  (although he's not that open... he's actually kindof rude about it.  LMBO!  I even got the eye roll)

 


Well, I didn't know for years that my DH was color blind, until one day I asked him if he had been drafted during the Vietnam War and he said that he didn't pass the medical because of his color blindness.  He'll say stuff like "I want the red one" and it baffles me, 'cause there is no red one. 

 

Regarding the kid giving you the eyeroll...LOL...I guess his condition is his reality and he can't really understand why anyone else doesn't get it. 
 

 


Bokonon's Avatar Bokonon 11:10 AM 06-24-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by CatsCradle View Post




Well, I didn't know for years that my DH was color blind, until one day I asked him if he had been drafted during the Vietnam War and he said that he didn't pass the medical because of his color blindness.  He'll say stuff like "I want the red one" and it baffles me, 'cause there is no red one. 

 

Regarding the kid giving you the eyeroll...LOL...I guess his condition is his reality and he can't really understand why anyone else doesn't get it. 
 

 


Yeah, like I said, I didn't know it unusual until my 30s...until then, I assumed everyone "saw" colors the way I do.

 


habitat's Avatar habitat 11:14 AM 06-24-2011

From what you've typed, he almost definitely has synesthesia. It can be really frustrating for a person, particularly a young person, to realize that their senses and receptions of their environments aren't coordinating with that of the people around them.

 

I have synesthesia. This is going to sound nuts to most of you: For me, numbers and letters (and therefore words) all have colors. Numbers also have (get this) personalities in my mind. I never understood when I was young that when I said someone was YELLOW (because their name translated in my mind as yellow), that my teachers thought I was just making stuff up. I still mix peoples' names up if they are similar colors. Don't get me started on Math. I just never got it because I couldn't look at numbers as simply quantifiable. To me, digits 1-9 were all different characters, which would get in the way of my "adding them up".

 

My good friend has color -> taste synesthesia. She tastes color. She likes the taste of some colors and others make her nauseous. For example, she can't STAND red and teal together. She played soccer as a child and once was on a red team. When they played against the teal team, she got horrendously sick and vomited until her mother took her home. She didn't figure out she had synesthesia until she saw a 20/20 episode about it.

 

So yeah, it's common. And it's real. And there's a lot of info on it.


Alenushka's Avatar Alenushka 11:38 AM 06-24-2011

Synestesia. To me letter had colors, adn object had personalities. It pretty much was gone after puberyt for me


meemee's Avatar meemee 05:30 PM 06-24-2011

http://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/synesthesia

 

Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant by Daniel Tammet was a good read. i read it a few years ago. 

 

i wish you could get that boy again,  because i have read your previous posts and i think while you may not understand i think you will 'get' the boy more than i think anyone else can ever 'get' him. 


Smokering's Avatar Smokering 05:39 PM 06-24-2011

I've always been kinda jealous of people with synesthesia - it sounds highly neat. I heard recently that one of the great composers - Bach? Mozart? viewed every note and key as a different colour. (Just tried to google who it was, and can't find out - but it seems Billy Joel has it too, and Allie Brosh. Cool.)


meemee's Avatar meemee 06:03 PM 06-24-2011
nextcommercial's Avatar nextcommercial 07:30 PM 06-24-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post

I've always been kinda jealous of people with synesthesia - it sounds highly neat. I heard recently that one of the great composers - Bach? Mozart? viewed every note and key as a different colour. (Just tried to google who it was, and can't find out - but it seems Billy Joel has it too, and Allie Brosh. Cool.)


I ♥ Billy Joel!

 


Wolfcat's Avatar Wolfcat 08:24 PM 06-24-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post




 "Synesthesia could possibly be as prevalent as 1 in 23 persons across its range of variants"... I have never heard of something like this.  If it's this common, I wonder why I've never met anyone who's told me this?  Or maybe it takes an 8 yr old to be so open about it.  (although he's not that open... he's actually kindof rude about it.  LMBO!  I even got the eye roll)

 

 

Yeah, it's not only hard for people to understand, but those who have this perceive it as reality (and it is their reality), so talking about it would be like explaining to someone what water is every time you ask for a drink... not necessary.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by habitat View Post

From what you've typed, he almost definitely has synesthesia. It can be really frustrating for a person, particularly a young person, to realize that their senses and receptions of their environments aren't coordinating with that of the people around them.

 

I have synesthesia. This is going to sound nuts to most of you: For me, numbers and letters (and therefore words) all have colors. Numbers also have (get this) personalities in my mind. I never understood when I was young that when I said someone was YELLOW (because their name translated in my mind as yellow), that my teachers thought I was just making stuff up. I still mix peoples' names up if they are similar colors. Don't get me started on Math. I just never got it because I couldn't look at numbers as simply quantifiable. To me, digits 1-9 were all different characters, which would get in the way of my "adding them up".

 

My good friend has color -> taste synesthesia. She tastes color. She likes the taste of some colors and others make her nauseous. For example, she can't STAND red and teal together. She played soccer as a child and once was on a red team. When they played against the teal team, she got horrendously sick and vomited until her mother took her home. She didn't figure out she had synesthesia until she saw a 20/20 episode about it.

 

So yeah, it's common. And it's real. And there's a lot of info on it.



I cannot get over numbers being genderless... odd numbers are boys and even numbers are girls. 2 is kinda mean and 7 is a kook... lol

 

I have such a mild case of this. My big one is that many sensory experiences turn into smell or touch... flavors, especially, create a full body tactile feeling. Strangely enough, I have very few physical reactions to smells (ie, nausea for strong "bad" smells - they just don't bother me).

I also "perceive" electricity, either through touch or hearing it, but it doesn't usually register unless there's something wrong.


Cyllya's Avatar Cyllya 10:38 PM 06-24-2011

I recall associating numbers with personalities and I think colors when I was a kid. I don't know if that's actually synesthesia though.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post

 "Synesthesia could possibly be as prevalent as 1 in 23 persons across its range of variants"... I have never heard of something like this.  If it's this common, I wonder why I've never met anyone who's told me this?  Or maybe it takes an 8 yr old to be so open about it.  (although he's not that open... he's actually kindof rude about it.  LMBO!  I even got the eye roll)

 


I think a lot of people don't even know they have it. They're born with this trait and haven't experienced non-synesthesia. Compare color-blindness. Someone actually had to invent a test for people to tell whether they're color-blind or not, because people who are born color-blind wouldn't know they're color-blind.


Lazurii's Avatar Lazurii 11:17 PM 06-24-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyllya View Post

I recall associating numbers with personalities and I think colors when I was a kid. I don't know if that's actually synesthesia though.
 



I do this, too, but mostly with multiplication, and the sensation isn't so strong anymore.  7 was mean to 4 because 4 just wanted to be 30, but 7 was all like, "no, you can't, you have to be 28.  Hahaha!"  8 was nice to 4, probably to make up for 7's harsh treatment, and let 4 be 32.  Whenever I would solve the equation 7x4=28, I could feel the longing in 4, it made me very uncomfortable.  I had other such "stories" associated with other numbers and equations.

 

So, in closing, I don't have much to add to this discussion (Haha!  Add!), but I still wanted to share my experience, since everyone I've told about it thinks I'm really weird.


DariusMom's Avatar DariusMom 06:20 AM 06-25-2011

 my sister is like this. every number is associated with a color. a good friend of hers is a musician and every note is associated with a color. she never knew it wasn't the way others viewed the world til she was in her 20s. I think it's cool.


NiteNicole's Avatar NiteNicole 06:35 AM 06-25-2011

Numbers also have (get this) personalities in my mind.

 

Same!  Although I think this was just me trying to make math more interesting and telling myself little stories about numbers.  Possibly this is why it always took me forever and a day to get through math worksheets (sort of like vocab words always took forever because I kept getting distracted by all the other new and exciting words in the dictionary that I didn't already know).


meemee's Avatar meemee 09:30 AM 06-25-2011

here's another perspective. 

 

a lot of indigenous people have this capabilities. i dont know how common this is. but Wade Davis has written about this. they see more than what we can see. i am not sure if it would be called synesthesia. but they 'see' amongst other things plants in a different light. they see sounds. they see plants. 


mtiger's Avatar mtiger 10:42 AM 06-25-2011

Yes, it would be considered a form of synesthesia. Some people see letters as colors, some hear colors as music (or see music as colors), some taste colors or words as flavors, etc. I kinda wish I did...


robin3's Avatar robin3 12:19 PM 06-25-2011

We discoverd our ds saw numbers as colors two years ago when he was nine. He also experiences feelings as tastes and colors. It explained sooooo much!!! He is very intense and sensitive and now I know why!  It explained why a kid who could hear a song once and have it memorized or read something once and have it memorized, couldn't do mulitiplication. It especially came out when they had timed mulitiplicationt tests in school. If he had time he could figure it out but the timed tests really threw him. He is in a public charter school that is an open classroom whole child education type place so when he needs to separate himself because of sensory overload he is able to.

An interesting side note: He sees number nine as black. When I was explaining to his sister, who is 20 years older than him (different dad,) about his synesthesia and how he sees numbers as colors she responded with "Uh huh, so?" Seems she has always seen numbers as colors and nine is also black! Explained sooooo much about her, also!

It has become less of an issue as our ds gets closer to puberty and mostly shows up in times of stress. Same for my daughter. So interesting!!


Snowflake777's Avatar Snowflake777 03:56 PM 06-25-2011

I'm a synaesthete. I had a (now defunct) webpage about it many years ago.  I'm curious to see whether my kids will have it to. :)


BubbleMa's Avatar BubbleMa 04:16 PM 06-25-2011

This is so fascinating!  I've never heard about it before, but now I'm intrigued!  :)


Lollybrat's Avatar Lollybrat 05:10 PM 06-25-2011
My 7 year son has some mild synesthesia as part of his autism. He covers his eyes when noises are loud and at school he complains that the fire drills are "too bright".
LynnS6's Avatar LynnS6 08:13 PM 06-26-2011

did you hear the story on NPR today about synethesia?

 

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4602748


meemee's Avatar meemee 02:05 PM 06-27-2011
journeymom's Avatar journeymom 04:57 PM 06-27-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyllya View Post

I recall associating numbers with personalities and I think colors when I was a kid. I don't know if that's actually synesthesia though.
 


 

 

Yeah, I wonder about that, too.  I gave letters, numbers and colors personalities when I was a kid.  And genders.  As an adult I just figured it was part of the human tendency to anthropomorphize everything.  I don't think it's the same as mixing up your senses and actually seeing colors or tasting something.  Maybe it is,  but to a lesser degree. Like on a spectrum.

 

However I do remember when I was really little, like early 4 y.o, dreaming repeatedly about a short round man and a tall thin man.  Sometimes the thin man was the number 1 and the round man was the number 8.  And always, there was this bizarre, intense physical sensation with the dream.  The first time I saw Laurel and Hardy I was kind of bowled over and confused. There were those guys from my dream!! How is it they're here on TV?   That's the only time I can think where I had a physical sensation associated with a random figure. 


staceychev's Avatar staceychev 01:03 PM 06-30-2011

I "have" it, too. It's numbers/letters associated with colors for me which, if what I've read is true, is the most common form. It's funny, because names will have colors associated with them because of their first letters, so when I was naming my girls, I was always drawn to certain names and not others based on color associations. It took me a while to figure out why I was drawn to "C" names--but then I realized that, duh, it's because they're blue, which is my favorite color! 


milkybean's Avatar milkybean 01:06 AM 07-15-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfcat View Post

I also "perceive" electricity, either through touch or hearing it, but it doesn't usually register unless there's something wrong.



Me too.  When I was getting a ton of bodywork, it was nearly impossible for me to go into a "big box" store b/c of all the machines that were on in the store. 



Quote:
Originally Posted by robin3 View Post

It explained why a kid who could hear a song once and have it memorized or read something once and have it memorized...



Oooooh.  I'm a little "off" when it comes to how I learn, but nothing I can really put my finger on.  My mom, a few years before she died, saw a show about synesthesia and finally recognized herself in it, realized that's what she was dealing with, AND that not everyone does it!  She was very excited about it.  Her sister has quirks as well, their brother might too (and he's also very very smart, at the time he passed the Bar exam he was the youngest to do that in Florida).  And their mom could sight-read music *perfectly* and would hear a tune ONCE and be able to replicate it.

 

Can't help but wonder if all of them had interesting ways of thinking of things!


FarmerBeth's Avatar FarmerBeth 04:24 PM 07-15-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by habitat View Post

From what you've typed, he almost definitely has synesthesia. It can be really frustrating for a person, particularly a young person, to realize that their senses and receptions of their environments aren't coordinating with that of the people around them.

 

I have synesthesia. This is going to sound nuts to most of you: For me, numbers and letters (and therefore words) all have colors. Numbers also have (get this) personalities in my mind. I never understood when I was young that when I said someone was YELLOW (because their name translated in my mind as yellow), that my teachers thought I was just making stuff up. I still mix peoples' names up if they are similar colors. Don't get me started on Math. I just never got it because I couldn't look at numbers as simply quantifiable. To me, digits 1-9 were all different characters, which would get in the way of my "adding them up".

 

 

Quote:

My good friend has color -> taste synesthesia. She tastes color. She likes the taste of some colors and others make her nauseous. For example, she can't STAND red and teal together. She played soccer as a child and once was on a red team. When they played against the teal team, she got horrendously sick and vomited until her mother took her home. She didn't figure out she had synesthesia until she saw a 20/20 episode about it.

 

 

So yeah, it's common. And it's real. And there's a lot of info on it.

 


I have a version of this.  I taste musical notes.  Before children I was a semi-professional classical musician, and my university education is a Bachelor of Music (since then I've been queen of community college-sigh) so I was constantly in this situation of tasting notes, especially simultaneously played intervals.  The interval of the second tastes just like copper pennies, and I really dreaded it after a while.  The only good thing to be said for it was that it helped me have this sort of instinctive perception when I had music dictation in classes.

 


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