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Autism and memory

(12 Posts)
LuckyLinky Thu 16-Jul-20 13:01:51

DS (8) has HFA and has very little recall of people and places. My family are from a different country and he has been to my parents house every year for the summer holidays. This year it was really marked that he didn't recognise the house, the neighbourhood, the neighbor's kids even though he played with them for weeks last year. People seem to be trees to him. My mother has made a huge effort with him and we see her every 6 months yet he can't tell the difference between her and her sisters. Is there anything we can do to help him form memories?

OP’s posts: |
Molly500 Thu 16-Jul-20 13:04:36

Photos and setting specific time aside to show him the photos and talk with and about those people.

EchoLimaYankee Thu 16-Jul-20 13:05:30

Perhaps make photo albums of each trip to go over again and again. Then make a social story before you go to help him identify everyone he needs to.

TheBabyAteMyBrain Thu 16-Jul-20 13:13:19

Agree with @EchoLimaYankee, we rarely see family members due to distance so we use photos and social stories of the trip, area, outings, foods and people to help ds remember and cope.

Haworthia Thu 16-Jul-20 13:18:03

My daughter is the same age and a bit like this. She’s not been assessed yet but I’m pretty convinced. She’s really close to one of her cousins but couldn’t remember that his mother was “Auntie X”. Couldn’t remember her name at all. My husband and I have one brother each and she forgets that, and that they are her uncles.

Just one of the many ways in which autistic kids lack social skills, I think. I don’t think you can change him or improve his memory skills because that’s just the way his brain works.

Photo albums are a good idea, but don’t fret if it just doesn’t seem to click for him. It might just be a developmental delay that will improve over time (I guess you wouldn’t worry as much if a five year old couldn’t remember last year’s summer holiday?)

LuckyLinky Thu 16-Jul-20 13:22:47

A photo book is a great idea. I did it when he was younger and sort of assumed he would start to remember by now. I think it really affects how he bonds and how others bond to him and it makes me sad for him. DD is 3 and I can see family warming to her more because she notices them as individuals. It comes across as they aren't important enough to be differentiated as individuals.

OP’s posts: |
LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Thu 16-Jul-20 13:32:47

Try talking to him about specific memorable occasions and link them to the people too. 'Remember the time we went to the beach with Aunty X and she stood on the jellyfish' 'Remember the time uncle X took you to the fair?'

Then build on that as you're approaching a trip: do you think Uncle X will take you to the fair again. While also telling uncle X to take a day off and take him to the fair!

Face blindness is also a thing, I think DS has it to some extent, he's terrible with names/faces.

BlankTimes Thu 16-Jul-20 13:45:33

He may also have this although you'll probably be told it's all part of his autism.

www.nhs.uk/conditions/face-blindness/

prosopagnosiaresearch.org/about/children

Haworthia Thu 16-Jul-20 13:45:35

I think it really affects how he bonds and how others bond to him and it makes me sad for him.

I know what you mean OP. My younger child is diagnosed autistic and, being a boy, has a much more typical presentation when it comes to social skills. Although I also think DD is autistic, her presentation is much more typical of a girl and she’s very social.

That’s a longwinded way of saying that certain family members have a tendency to ignore DS in favour of DD because they don’t get much out of him. That upsets me but I try to remind myself that it’s up to them to accept him as he is, and he actually isn’t bothered if they leave him alone. In fact he prefers it grin

okiedokieme Thu 16-Jul-20 14:03:40

Photos and speaking via zoom/FaceTime might be helpful. It's not asd per se, they are all individuals (dd never forgets anything, a real problem actually)

LuckyLinky Thu 16-Jul-20 14:24:48

Others might find this article https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2006/01/autism

It speaks about the specific memory challenges children with autism may have. We do FaceTime a few times a week with my mother but it doesn't seem to make a difference. I'm going to give the photo book a go.

OP’s posts: |
Haworthia Thu 16-Jul-20 14:48:50

It is ASD related @okiedokieme. Yes, all children are different, SEN or not, and not all children with these issues will be autistic, but this is something that affects autistic children in particular.

I’ll have a look at that link @LuckyLinky, thanks.

My son hates FaceTime/Zoom as a general rule. We’ve tried to engage him with chatting to grandparents during lockdown but he just runs away, it genuinely upsets him.

Also took a screenshot this which popped up on my FB feed a little while ago. Thought it was apt smile

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