Daily Archives: October 14, 2013

Prosopagnosia: Face Blindness in Action.

Face blindness in action. —

Yesterday, while I was checking my Post Office Box for mail, a lady came up to me, said “Hi” and started talking to me. I was frantically mentally scrambling to figure out, “Who is this woman who is standing right in front of me talking like she knows me? ” Eventually, she asked me if the lawn had been mowed at my landlord’s place next door to me. Finally, I figured out that she is the landlord’s friend who helps with painting and landscaping. I had been at work, so I told her that I didn’t know if the yard had been mowed yet. I told her that it was nice to see her again and we parted ways. I never did remember her name, nor did I address her by name.

This is what it is like for me to have Prosopagnosia (face blindness) issues. Sometimes I find my brain in a virtual whirlwind of frantic thinking, trying desperately to figure out who i am talking to and where I know them from. It is not really a pleasant thing and all the while I try to keep smiling and talking so they do not get offended by my initial lack of recognition of them.

I smile and am friendly to people that I meet, but, sometimes, my lack of immediate recognition seems to offend people. It is not an intentional slight or insult. It is something that I struggle with. Please understand that an enormous amount of brain processing is happening behind the scenes when I meet up with someone at an unexpected location or time. If I look confused, do not get offended. I am trying very hard to pick up on the clues that I need to decipher your identity. Please excuse me if you see a look of confusion on my face when we meet. It helps if you say something that reminds me of how we know each other or where we usually see each other.

“Face blindness (prosopagnosia) is common among people with autism spectrum disorders.” 

Categories: Autism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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