The Taste of Words – Asperger’s Syndrome and Synaesthesia

My daughter and big brother on the Teacups at 1990s (c) Sherri Matthews 2104)

My daughter and big brother on the Teacups at Disneyland 1990s
(c) Sherri Matthews 2104)

The taste of LA on a Disneyland morning.

It is the taste of hot coffee, Winchell’s donuts and egg and bacon breakfast sandwiches.

This is what was brought to Aspie Daughter’s mind as we chatted one day about the times when she was little and we used to go to Disneyland when we lived in California.

I also knew just what she meant in remembering when we first arrived at LAX after a long-haul flight walking out into the warm, open air feeling exhausted yet exhilarated, of being hit in the face by the smell of French fries tinged with the fumes of gasoline.   You could almost taste it.

Except that she actually did ‘taste’ it.

Over the years I’ve always been intrigued by the way Aspie Daughter told me how she could ‘taste’ and ‘see’ words in colour.  I thought it was part of her unique creativity and that it  was just one of her many creative and special little ways.

Then, last summer (and once again, thank you ‘spamgate’!) I met my lovely friend Jenny over at her beautifully written blog Characters From The Kitchen. Since then, we have shared many stories from our childhoods, put the world to rights and laughed so hard until my hotpants sides have split in two.

Reading her ‘About’ page, I was astounded to learn the unique way she ‘sees’ numbers as colours and that this is an actual condition called ‘synaesthesia’.  Hence started a very lively discussion between us about this fascinating subject because I realised that Aspie Daughter must have some form of it. My interest grew even more when I read Jenny’s post about this very subject.

Then I wondered if it was more common in people with Asperger’s Syndrome and perhaps an extension of an already heightened, every day sensory experience.

Before I go on,  I should clarify here that I am making a distinction between Asperger’s Syndrome and full-blown Autism even though they are both classed as an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Some of you may already know that last May, the American Psychiatric Association adopted new guidelines with its official release of the DSM-5 (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition) meaning that previously recognised sub-types of ASD (including Asperger’s Syndrome) are now put into one diagnosis of ASD.

This redefinition of Asperger’s has been hotly debated and I will be writing more about this very lengthy subject in due course, but you can click here for further information in the meantime.

However, and referring to a study done last year using brain-activity monitoring, research seems to back up the idea that Asperger’s is a distinct form of autism.  For instance, although those with Asperger’s and Autism both have difficulty with social interaction and restricted, obsessive interest, those with Asperger’s (also known as Higher Functioning Autism) have typical or even advanced language development and intellect.

Coming back then to synaesthesia.  What exactly is it?  The UK Synaesthesia Association asks this on its website:

‘What colour is the letter “A”? What does the number ‘1″ taste of? Does listening to music, speaking or eating food produce colours, shape or texture? For most people, questions such as these will either yield a look of bewilderment or an emphatic “No!”‘

Quite simply, for those with this ‘condition’ the answers to the questions above would be very different!

A BBC News health report written last November highlighted a new study linking synaesthesia with autism which was carried out by the Autism Research Centre at Cambridge University.  They discovered that synaesthesia is three times more common in people on the autistic spectrum, including those with Asperger’s.

What I find so fascinating about all this is that this study seems to point to similarities in underlying and unusual brain connectivity with ASD and synaesthesia.  When I consider that sensory issues play a huge part in ASD, and that synaesthesia seems to be a mixing-up of the senses due to anomalies in the way the brain is wired, I am very excited to learn more about this intriguing subject as more research takes place.

To end this article, and as promised, I persuaded my lovely Aspie Daughter (and she very kindly agreed) to interview her as I thought it would be good for her to share her personal experiences with synaesthesia.  I hope you will find her answers just as interesting and as enlightening as I did! Since it is one of her favourite colours, her answers are in green!

1.  When did you first hear the word ‘Synaesthesia’ and in what context? 

When you told me about the blog post you read about it, I immediately recognised something in it that seemed familiar to my experience.  I had never heard the word until then or knew nothing about the condition.

2.  When I explained to you what it was, in general terms, what were your thoughts?       

I didn’t realise that it was a ‘condition’.  I thought it happened to everyone and that it was normal.

3.  Does this mean that you have been aware of having it all your life? 

Yes. I noticed that I ‘tasted’ different, random words and saw words in colour but I never thought it was any different to anyone else or weird.  I thought it was normal.

4.  When you say you ‘taste’ random words, can you describe this for us? 

Well, for instance,  when I hear, read or speak the word ‘group’ I taste vanilla pudding.  It’s not a literal taste, it’s more that my taste buds are remembering the texture and the flavour of the pudding but it’s not like I’m putting the food literally in my mouth.  I would call it a weak taste, but it happens every time.

5.  Can you give me some more examples of  random word/taste association? 

Yes, the word ‘tomorrow’ I always associate with baby carrots,   the word ‘wood’ gives me the taste and scent of fresh water, as in a river.  ‘Clock’ tastes of cheesy-rice.  

6.  What about colours that you see with days of the week? 

Thursday I see dark blue, Wednesday is orange, Tuesday is like a cornflower blue, Monday is maroon, Friday is lilac, Saturday is dark green and Sunday is yellow.  

7.  This leads me to my next question. Do you think that the way you ‘see’ days of the week as colours ties in with the way certain colours make you feel calmer or more stressed? 

I think the way they are is because maybe when I was younger I may have seen some sort of calendar or something with days of the week which has stayed in my mind.  I don’t like yellow very much and I don’t like Sundays. I remember in California not liking waking up on a Sunday morning with it being very bright and sunny and everyone being up already, making noise around the house because it made me feel tense and anxious. Because the school week was so long and stressful for me I wanted to spend the weekend relaxing and sleeping in.   This only happened on Sundays, I was fine getting up on Saturdays.  So yellow, which I associate with the sun which I don’t like, is probably why I think of Sundays in this colour.

8. You always struck me from a girl how you phrased words in such a descriptive way.   For instance, one morning when we went outside and it was cold and damp and you said it ‘smelled like dirty frogs’.  You also said that beer ‘smelled like liquid bread’.  You were only about four or five (quite why you were smelling beer I don’t know!) and you had no idea that it is made from hops, and that yeast is used to make bread.  

* Laughing *  Yes, I remember that!

9.   All in all, now that you know that your unique way of seeing and tasting words in colour is quite unusual and an actual condition, how do you feel about that?

Fine, it is just there.  It doesn’t affect me one way or the other.

10.  Thank you lovely daughter!  How would you feel about doing another interview some time?

That’s ok. Maybe! *Smiles*

There you have it!  I hope you enjoyed my first blog interview with Aspie Daughter. I happen to think she is pretty amazing, but then I would since I’m Mum so I’m biased, naturally.

Have a great weekend everyone and keep warm and dry, or cool, depending on which side of the planet you’re on, and I will do my best to catch up with you in the next couple of days 🙂

About Sherri Matthews

Sherri has been writing full time since 2011. Currently working on her memoir, 'Stranger in a White Dress', she has been published in a variety of national magazines, websites and three anthologies. Sherri raised her three, now adult children, in California for twenty years and today, lives in England’s West Country with her hubby, Aspie youngest, two cats, a grumpy bunny and a family of Chinese Button Quails. She keeps out of mischief blogging, gardening, walking by the sea and snapping endless photographs. Her garden robin muse vists regularly.
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68 Responses to The Taste of Words – Asperger’s Syndrome and Synaesthesia

  1. Steven says:

    I always learn new stuff on here, Sherri Poppins. Enjoyed the interview. What a piercing questionmaster you are 😉 Look forward to episode two.

    I do the days of the week in colour thing, I always have – and I think it does relate to my moods and associations to the given day. Monday is red, Tuesday is yellow, Wednesday green, Thursday violet, Friday blue (a nice blue), Saturday orange, Sunday grey. I quite like that it’s almost a colour spectrum 😛 I’ve never heard of ‘tasting’ words, though, so this was new and intriguing to me. Great stuff!

    Now all we have to do is persuade her to show us her artwork 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      Oh so glad you learnt something JG, thanks so much! Ha ha, ‘pierciing questionmaster’! Hmm, did I miss my true calling I wonder…lol!
      That’s so interesting that you do the colour thing with days of the week too. I think there is the assocation together with the moods with Aspie Daughter too but then she actually tastes words which she always did and I just never thought it was that unusual!!!
      Yes, I thought of you and the artwork and trust me, I’m working on it!
      Got to catch up over at your place now… 🙂

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  2. This is a subject I know nothing about. Always nice to learn something new. About damp days, I think they smell wormy and beer definitely smells yeasty to me.

    I look forward to more, Sherri. Wonderful weekend to you and yours too.

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  3. This is fascinating, Sherri. I’m somewhat familiar with Asperger’s but I’ve never heard of synaesthesia. I’ll have to read Jenny’s post since it must have been written before I discovered her wonderful blog.

    I so enjoyed the interview with your daughter. I hope she’ll come back for another visit. Love the teacup photo! Have a great weekend!

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    • Sherri says:

      So glad enjoyed the read Jill, many thanks and yes, do take a look at Jenny’s post, fascinating stuff.
      It was fun doing the interview with my daughter. I really want her to let me share some of her art work too but still working on that!
      The teacup photo, yes, happy times… 🙂
      You have a great weekend too Jill, but will just quickly dash over to you now… 🙂

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  4. Dylan Hearn says:

    What a great blog, especially the Q&A with your daughter. I had heard of synaesthesia before but have yet to meet anybody who has this amazing gift (I won’t use the word condition because it has such a negative connotation. Synaesthesia isn’t a condition, it’s a superpower!) The closest I’ve got to hearing a story first hand was when my Dad – a hippy when younger – tells the story of how he took something at a festival and watched the musical notes as colours blossoming before his eyes.
    And that photo, marvellous!

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    • Sherri says:

      Yes, I think it’s a gift too, even better, a superpower (love that!) 🙂 I will tell my daughter because she loves The Avengers (the film, not the TV show from the 60s obviously!) because of all the different powers they all have but hers is the best of all, ha!
      Hmmm, one can only hazzard a guess at what your dad took, lol! Imagine being able to see these colours or taste words without having to take anything, just as part of every day life? Amazing, and I wish I could!
      Thanks very much Dylan, so glad you enjoyed this post 🙂

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  5. jennypellett says:

    Hi Sherri-
    Firstly, many thanks for linking this through to my post.
    Second – I’m absolutely fascinated by the interview with your daughter and her responses – as Dylan so rightly says – it’s not a condition as such, but a huge advantage. Synaesthesia certainly has never hindered me in any way, and like Claire, it’s something that I’ve always had. I too tried to rationalise it by thinking my days of the week must be related to a calendar I had in my formative years – and the same with my numbers – did I have a number line in those colours in my nursery? Short answer – No I didn’t! Although I don’t have the taste variation I can understand exactly what Claire must experience when she hears a word that she associates with a taste. For instance, my Tuesdays are yellow with brown edges – but it is the NOTION of Tuesday, not the word as it is written down. I’m pretty sure that Claire will be able to understand this, too. Anything associated with the number, say 8, in my world will have connections to the colour red, while the number 2 (or the idea of two) is always a dirty white. I could go on because this is a strange and fascinating subject and I don’t think it can easily be explained because we synaesthetes are all different. I’d love to see some of your daughter’s art work when she is ready to share it. Thanks for this post Sherri – and thanks to your lovely daughter, too. synaesthesia rules OK! 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      Yes!!! Synaesthesia definitely rules Jenny! Just sorry it took me so long to get this post out, and thank YOU for first bringing this ‘gift’ to my attention 🙂 As I wrote here, I always thought it was so intriguing when Claire would tell me about being able to ‘taste’ words but just as she did other things a little bit ‘differently’ I just thought it was one of her unique and special characteristics, certainly nothing ‘weird’ or wrong. Really cool actually and very endearing! I don’t like calling it a condition either, other than for the purposes of this article.

      How very interesting that you had the same thoughts about the possible calendar association for the days of the week. The numbers thing is fascinating too. Claire doesn’t see numbers in colours necessarily but she has trouble with seeing them if they are any longer in a row than say 5 or 6. After that they disappear into the ether. Understandably she struggled terribly with maths at school (even though she was later told she has dyscalculia but this was never picked up at school – there’s a suprise).

      I can actually understand when you say the ‘notion’ of the day rather than the word as it is written gives rise to the colour that you see but Claire will definitely understand exactly your experiences. It really is absolutely fascinating. I was also so intrigued when I read up on some recent studies about the link with Asperger’s and synaesthesia. It just oozes creativity!

      You two should get together and have a good chat about it, as it is so rare to find someone else with the same superpower 🙂 I’ve enjoyed our ‘chats’ about it so much, thanks again Jenny 🙂

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  6. Rachel says:

    Fascinating! Have you read Born on a blue day? It’s written by someone with aspergers and he describes much of the same interesting connections that your daughter has. I found it really extraordinary and for the author of the book, the descriptives he adds to words has given him an amazing memory.

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    • Sherri says:

      No, I haven’t heard of this book Rachel, but thanks very much for the link. It sounds fascinating and one I must read. There is no doubt that synaesthesia gives rise to an extra depth of creativty for those who have it and even more so for those like my Aspie daughter and the author who are naturally already very creative and I do have to say, gifted in their specific and unique abilities. How very interesting too that the author has such an incredible memory.

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  7. Great post, Sherri. My adult niece says that she has this gift, too. Your daughter’s answers were very interesting. I look forward to another post on this topic.

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    • Sherri says:

      That’s so interesting about your niece Bev, thanks so much for sharing this and so glad you enjoyed reading about my Aspie Daughter’s experiences! I hope to write more about it and Asperger’s too more regularly 🙂

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  8. Wonderful, informative and personal post, Sherri. I learned so much!
    I have a friend whose grown son has Asperger’s, and he can ‘smell’ colors and numbers. I’ve forwarded your link to the blog to both of them.

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    • Sherri says:

      How fascinating Marylin about your friend’s son, thanks so much for sharing this as I am always intrigued to know of others with this ‘gift’, especially with the link between Asperger’s and synaesthesia. I am excited about learning so much more about this subject. I’m thrilled that you learnt something from this post and many thanks for forwarding the link on, I really hope that your friend and her son find it interesting 🙂

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  9. Heyjude says:

    Thanks Sherri for a very good informative post. You have a very interesting daughter there – I think it must be quite wonderful to see numbers / days / words in colour! I guess many people see things differently but automatically assume that everyone sees the same! One person’s yellow is someone else’s green!
    Have a good weekend, despite the rain 🙂
    Jude xx

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    • Sherri says:

      Yes, that is a very good point! Hubby will often describe say a car as ‘beige’ but to me it is most definitely silver! I often think he’s colour blind too as he sees red in a completely different way to me (he isn’t, nor am I!)

      I’m really glad that you enjoyed this post Jude, thanks very much. I happen to think that my daughter is very interesting too and I learnt even more from doing the interview with her!

      It’s taken me a while to catch up (we have been away all weekend and I am paying the price here on Monday morning catching up manically and soooooo behind…and still got the weekly challenge to do…!) We had a lovely weekend with the boys down in Sussex. Hope you had a good weekend and kept dry. Friday travelling was abysmal in the rain but yesterday better despite the dire warnings.

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  10. Sherri, what a fascinating read! And what a gifted daughter. (Agree w/Dylan – the Spirit does give us different gifts!) How lovely that Friday is lilac; my favorite color. I’m going to link to this on Twitter and Facebook. I think it’s important to pass the word along. I hope you all have wonderful weekend, my friend.

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    • Sherri says:

      That’s so lovely that lilac is your favourite colour – it is one of mine too (that and sage green!) Thanks so much Susan for the link-ups. I really appreciate you doing this, I hope others will find it interesting and even helpful. I really do want to learn so much more about Asperger’s in general and this apparent link with synaesthesia is all the more fascinating, so I want to share more in future posts!

      Sorry for the delay in replying, we had a lovely weekend thanks, with the boys, and only just catching up now (no computer since Friday afternoon!) I hope you did too my friend and here’s to an even better week 🙂

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  11. TBM says:

    I love that you two did an interview. Thanks for sharing this information. I think it’s important for all of us to learn more. I used to work with an autistic gentlemen but to my knowledge haven’t known anyone with aspergers. I’m intrigued seeing colors and tasting words. Very fascinating and quite a talent.

    BTW, when I was a kid I lived near Disneyland and during the summer when the fireworks went off that was my curfew. Thanks for reminding me of that. Such a lovely memory.

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    • Sherri says:

      So glad you enjoyed this and the interview, thanks TB, very much. There is so much more to learn about this fascinating subject and the latest research into Asperger’s just on it’s own and then with synaesthseia too I find so incredibly interesting and the fact that my daughter has this ability.

      What a lovely memory you share of the fireworks at Disneyland being your curfew! You couldn’t have a better one than that, not easy to miss! I remember how we would wait for the end just to see the fireworks. I have a very strong memory of being there when my daughter was about four years old and her father was holding her up so she could see better and then the look on her face when she saw Tinkerbell ‘flying’ over the castle was something I’ll never forget. She was absolutely mesmorised. I will never forget it and I know it sounds corney, but it really was a magical moment.

      It’s lovely to know that reading here about Disneyland gave you a wonderful memory too. I’ve got a huge smile right about now 🙂

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  12. What an excellent post Sherri! You’ve shed light on a topic that I knew nothing about, how fascinating. What I love most is how you were able to make these connections all through blogging. It’s so wonderful to have such an active and supportive community. I hope you have a wonderful weekend 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      Yes Heather, what a wonderful thing indeed to be able to share our unique experiences within this community. Finding out about synaesthesia from reading Jenny’s post is a great example of this. I’m so glad that you found it so interesting, thanks so much. Sorry for only just replying, have been away all weekend since just after posting this so catching up now and paying the price!! We did have a lovely time with my boys thanks and hope you did too and a wonderful week to follow 🙂

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  13. Lorraine Marie Reguly says:

    What a fascinating interview, Sherri! I’ve always wondered about the whole ‘seeing and tasting words’ issue. Very strange to those of us who love words (and food) and cannot understand this concept.

    Nicely done!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much Lorraine, so glad you found it interesting and enjoyable. It is a very unique concept indeed and yes, strange if not impossible for those of us who don’t experience the tasting of words to understand. I really enjoyed doing the interview with my daughter and she did too 🙂

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  14. Wonderfully interesting post. Thank you Sherri and Aspie D.

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  15. bulldog says:

    Sherri, I have never heard of this before today and find this fascinating… back in the early days of childhood we were taught numbers i.e. 1 up to 10… the teacher who taught us always emphasised the number 7, we thought this normal so when we got to seven we put a special lilt to it… my parents found this funny and spoke to the teacher thinking it was me only to discover that it was the teacher… I still to this day cannot say the number without giving it a substantial emphasis… now that was teacher taught and 60 years later is still there… but this of your daughter is mindbogglingly interesting… I will certainly do more reading up of this fascinating subject…
    I think she’s pretty amazing too and I’m not even family (except WP family) but would have been disappointed if you didn’t think her amazing…

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    • Sherri says:

      This is so interesting Bulldog, thanks so much for sharing your experience with the lilting number 7! Just goes to show how our teachers can instill so much into our young brains and even now, so many years later, stay with us. I can just imagine your parents finding it funny 🙂

      When I was at primary school, a little village CofE school, at the end of every day we had to stand up and recite our times’ tables. Each day it would be a different one. To this day I have instant recall and I am eternally thankful even though at the time it seemed so utterly boring. By the time my kids went to school, in California, it was done by using flash cards. And this by moi, the parents, not the teachers. You can imagine how much fun we all had with that little activity after school…not!!!

      Synaesthesia is certainly a fascinating subject, especially with the link to Asperger’s from a personal point of view. My daughter is very creative and I think that all this is a huge advantage to her in that way, although she struggles terribly with the way Asperger’s affects her daily life. I will be sharing more about this in other posts as she feels comfortable with and as she feels it is helpful to others in better understanding it all – and thanks so much for your lovely, kind words, it means a lot coming from WP family 🙂

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  16. This was fascinating Sherri. I have recently finished the book The Curious incident of the Dead Dog in the Night (I think I’ve got the order correct) and I learnt a lot from it even though it was a fiction book. Some of what you are saying here has reinforced what I picked up from this book. I loved the interview with your daughter. It has opened a new world of thought which she finds normal but I find mind boggling – words tasting and in colour. Such a different world and we are only getting a minute peak. Thanks Irene

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    • Sherri says:

      What a wonderful book title that is! Goodness, I will have to look out for that for sure! So interesting to learn that there are books out there which bring the world of synaesthesia to life. Thanks so much Irene for sharing your thoughts here, so glad you enjoyed the interview. This is what I wanted to show, my daughter’s very different but immensly creative world. It is something she has always had and never gave two thoughts about, nor did I. There is so much more to learn about this fascinating subject and of course just another aspect of my daughter’s life as she lives with the challenges that Asperger’s presents.

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  17. I think synaesthesia is so interesting. When I was at school I used to associate different classes with specific colours, depending on who was in them, although I think it was down to my impressions of the colours! I can’t imagine certain words provoking tastes! It would be a brilliant tool in creative writing.

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    • Sherri says:

      This is very interesting Lauren and thanks so much for sharing this! There are different ways that synaesthesia presents so maybe you have one aspect of it!

      Interestingly, my daughter loves to write. She has several blogs on which she ‘role-plays’ as a fictional character and writes daily episodes about their life and their stories. She ‘sees’ her characters and they take form as she writes. What every novelist wants, right? I can definitely see that her ability to ‘taste’ words and ‘see’ them in colour can take her to a whole new creative level! I just wish I could go there with her 🙂

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      • jennypellett says:

        Well – there’s another similarity – because I see my characters as I write. In fact, I can’t get going properly until I have a clear vision of my character – both appearance and personality. I often pretend I’m writing for TV drama and tend to put famous actors in my roles. It helps- especially if I need an accent for a character.

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        • Sherri says:

          See Jenny, you are so creative and you have a gift! This is amazing, This surely has to be a classic case of synaesthesia adding to the creative mix and giving more depth to your writing. Being able to see your characters is a real bonus. I don’t write much fiction at the moment as you know but when I have done I do have a sort of an outline sketch in my mind but not a filled-out character to start with. But in your case you actually see the complete character even before you write! That I do find fascinating indeed!

          As a little aside, it’s great because several times when I happen to walk past Claire’s room and she is writing away she will shout out ‘Mum, what’s another word for ….’ so while she writes her fiction I get great practice with expanding my vocabulary for my creative writing, hopefully 🙂

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  18. I totally agree! She is amazing and has inspired me to attempt to make my writing more descriptive. All the best lovely daughter, Diane

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    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much Diane, so wonderful that she has inspired you in this way and I will be sure to send on your lovely, kind words of encouragement to my daughter 🙂

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  19. mysonnydays says:

    I know relatively little about synaesthesia so reading this blog post has taught me a lot! Very interesting to read!

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  20. Denise says:

    Great picture, and so lovely to do an interview with your daughter. I have heard of synaesthesia but never read any real life experiences of it and the actual examples are fascinating, as is the link to Asperger’s.

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    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much Denise, I did wonder if you had heard much about synaesthesia. I’m really glad you enjoyed learing more about it. I honestly didn’t think it was in any way strange or weird when my daughter talked about ‘tasting’ words. I just thought it was part of her unique creativity 🙂

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  21. Funnily enough Sherri, I’d never heard of synaesthesia until relatively recently and then it seemed to come up a few times in a short space of time – I read a novel in which one of the characters had it, then I came across it in Helen White’s blog, as she has it – she wrote a post about it here: http://scatteringthelight.com/2013/07/11/walking-a-spiral-feeling-in-colour-my-life-with-synaesthesia/ And then there was Jenny’s blog and now your interview with your daughter. Usually with these sorts of ‘coincidences’ there’s a lesson somewhere for me – or perhaps it’s just that there’s a burgeoning awareness of synaesthesia. Either way, it is fascinating.

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    • Sherri says:

      Andrea, how fascinating that you should have come across synaesthesia so many times in such a short space of time! Many thanks for the link to Helen White’s post about it, I will take a look after this and when I’ve caught up (been away for the weekend and paying the price…help!!!) Several here have shared that they have read about it in novels and so I’m wondering what rock have I been hiding under?? I had never come across it until I read Jenny’s blog!! These coincidences have to mean something 😉

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  22. Wow … so interesting …

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  23. thirdhandart says:

    I’d never heard of Synaesthesia before reading your post Sherri. I imagine that having Synaesthesia might be a hindrance in some professions… but a huge advantage in others. Your daughter’s interview was perfect. Thank you both for the information.

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    • Sherri says:

      So glad you enjoyed the interview with my daughter Theresa, thanks so much. I certainly gained more insight from it and I would love for her to do more interviews. She has such a wonderful way of describing things (she writes on several blogs, role-playing as fictional characters) and she is an amazing artist (I don’t just say that as her mum, she really is but of course she doesn’t think so) so in this way I do think that having synaesthesia really does enhance her creativity, even as she lives with the challenges that having Asperger’s presents for her on a daily basis. I will certainly pass on your very kind thanks to my daughter, she will be thrilled 🙂

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  24. Thank you for sharing on this complex subject and presenting this article in an informative yet personal way – it’s so good to enjoy reading and learn at the same time too.

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  25. simplyilka says:

    Today I learned something new Sherri. Fantastic post! Beautiful Interview! You have an amazing girl 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      So glad you enjoyed this post Ilka, thanks so much! I’m honoured that you learnt something new as every time I read your posts I learn a new, fascinating something 🙂

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  26. Sorry for the delay in reading this-it doesn’t come up on my news feed for some reason. Anyway…….I was absolutely fascinated and think it is such a unique condition. To me it seems like such a rich & beautiful gift that the rest of us miss out on. Amazing, really. Loved your interview and how Claire expresses herself so brilliantly. Both of you blow me away with your talents! with my love to you both! xoxoxoxo

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    • Sherri says:

      Ahh, you are lovely Diane and I’m so glad that you enjoyed reading about Claire’s experiences with this gift in her interview. I knew that it would be so much better if she described it in her own words! I have always been amazed at the way she describes the way she sees and tastes words and numbers and the world around her in general. We do miss out that’s for sure! For your love and encouragement, as always I thank you so much and sending our love back to you… xoxoxoxox

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  27. I read about this a few months ago. There are certain words that conjure up certain colors for me, but that’s nothing like what you and Claire describe or that I read in the article about the same thing. It’s really a very special gift. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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    • Sherri says:

      Hi Donna Jean and many thanks, I’m so glad that you found this post so interesting and I was very happy that Claire shared her experiences with this wonderful gift. I do believe that it is all part of her creative abilities and I am so excited about the research that is going on right now about it all 🙂

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  28. Aspie Story says:

    I’m so glad your daughter agreed on doing this interview! Very interesting to read. Hopefully she would like to do another one like this some day. 🙂

    I’m not able to ‘taste’ words like described, but I do have sensory processing difficulties which are associated with synaesthesia. For example, when there’s a lot of noise around me and I need to concentrate on tasting something, I’m not able to do that. There’s an interesting chapter about sensory processing in the “Complete Guide To Asperger’s Syndrome” book that you might also find interesting to read. Actually I can recommend the whole book, but don’t want to force it on you. 🙂 Your daughter might appreciate it as well.

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    • Sherri says:

      Hi Darren, lovely to see you back here again and I’m so glad that you enjoyed the interview with Aspie D
      🙂 I hope she will do another one too, working on that 🙂

      That is fascinating what you share with your experience about not being able to taste something if there is a lot of noise around, very much a sensory issue.

      This book sounds excellent, I’ve not heard about it. I would very much like to read it, thanks so much for recommending it, I will look for it on Amazon 🙂

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  29. Imelda says:

    That’s amazing. 🙂 Thanks to you and to your daughter for the interview. It is informative and enlightening. I think it is a gift to be able to associate words with other sensory things.

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    • Sherri says:

      Thank you so much Imelda, I’m always so happy to know that I’ve been able to shed light on something unusual like this, yet up until now I didn’t really consider it that unusual, if that makes sense! It certainly is a gift and one which seems to go hand-in-hand with a very unique creative ability 🙂

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  30. Pingback: Two Year’s Blogging And Still Standing | A View From My Summerhouse

  31. Does your daughter like reading? I wonder if she would like Rebecca Hamilton’s paranormal novels, especially The Forever Girl series. It’s just that, before Rebecca was well known, we were on the same writers’ colony as each other and did some exchange beta reading of each others’ work. She has Aspergers (and an autistic daughter), so I wonder if your daughter would in particular appreciate Rebecca’s wonderful way with words that I remember so well. Also, Rebecca is about the same age as your daughter!

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