Synaesthesia Discovery

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Visible or Invisible


After my first two posts, a couple of people asked me what ticker-tape synaesthesia was. I have observed two different types of ticker-tape from my children.

One is when an individual sees every word spoken by another person in front of his eyes, like movie subtitles. When I first learnt Skye’s ability of seeing every word right in front of him whenever a person talks, I was a bit worried. But he laughed at me and asked me why. He says it doesn’t distract him at all, instead, he has leant most of spellings through this synaesthesia. He started this syn when he was four and he remembered very clearly. He gave me one example. He used to think ‘Tsunami’ was spelt as ‘Soonarmy’. One day, his classmate called out, ‘Skye, come to see Tornado’. He immediately saw every word of course. Then he also saw ‘Tsunami’ appearing next to ‘Tornado’. He looked it a bit closer and said to himself, “oh, that’s how I should spell Tsunami, it should start with T”.

The second type is like a labeling type such as how Thomas sees a player’s name on his clothes. Thomas first mentioned this on his 3rd birthday when he was looking at his present. He told me there was a “16″ on the wrapping paper. 16 is his birth date. I looked and asked him where. He pointed with his little finger to the wrapping paper, “here”. I rolled my eyes up and thought he was making things up. Skye said yes, there was this and that. I thought they were either mad or had over active imagination. It was not until last year, I understood that they truly saw words on items like labeling.

Through a few discussions from a Synaesthesia forum, we noticed that Synaesthetes are commonly good at learning languages, many are multilingual and good spellers.

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