The following is a copy of an email sent to me which I think was interesting and worth sharing so I got permission from the author- another artist with autism, to share it with you. I know that left-right integration issues don’t apply to all people on the spectrum but I have noticed there is a big difference in processing between the more artistic and scientific minds on the spectrum and I think people like me and Temple kind of capture those two poles. The authors view is that many people with autism get stuck in right brain mode wherea many people with Asperger’s have a better communication between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. What I feel happened to me was I was stuck in right brain mode till left started to switch on at about age nine and remains rather rusty.
I’ve done a lot of patterning exercises to get the two sides working together and I have written a bit about this in two of my text books- Autism; An Inside-Out Approach and Autism And Sensing; The Unlost Instinct ( see www.donnawilliams.net ). I also believe some Aspie people are as stuck in left brain mode as some autie people are stuck in right brain mode and that left-right integration exercises and activities to increase right brain function might help some Aspie people to become more intuitive. Anyway, for what its worth, here’s what this other arty autie wrote…..
I have a thought about “autism/ autistics” that I gathered from your yellow book and indigo book, and from past papers collected about brain functions, precisely, left & right hemispheric functions.
As you probably know, the right hemisphere of our brains knows no sense of time, order, abstraction, speech, rational or logical– interpretive processes. Those aspects are reserved for the left hemisphere. The right side is purely aware, without connection to words, synthetic, concrete (this just ‘is’), spatial, imaginative, intuitive– purely sensory.
There is constant communication between the two hemispheres through the corpus callosum, however research shows that the callosum of autistic cadavers are abnormally undersized, or at average size, they are “pinched” closed in such a way, as to impede normal communication between the two hemispheres.
From what I’ve experienced and observed we ‘artistics’, diagnosed autistics, are functioning primarily with our right hemispheres. My experience and education with infants, leads me to the assumption that right hemispheric dominance at birth is normal and natural.
I think levels of functioning in autism are in direct relationship with the corpus callosum, and how the right & left communicate. Cerebral allergies cause inflammation: Was your callosum inflamed hindering your ability to access left hemispheric functions? I was evaluated by a psychologist when I was 15 yr. old, and he stated, “…she is obviously a right hemispheric learner and uses her right hemisphere almost exclusively. She may have trained herself to do this…”
I’m a natural artist in any medium, including photography, drafting, and interior design. I’m a natural percussionist, singer, and I can recall any music I’ve ever heard after hearing 30 seconds of it. I have the gift of synesthesia, a crossing of senses; I see music in 3 dimensional shapes, lines, and colors. People I know or meet are not recognized by their faces, but by the colors, shape, and feel of their names. Past experiences are played out in front of me like a video movie– complete with all sounds, voices, temperature, smells, and emotion.
I believe there are many caught in the left hemisphere as well. I think that the delay I have when I’m spoken to, the 5-8 seconds it takes me to understand and reply, is evidence of my difficulty with both hemispheres working together via the corpus callosum.