I would love to connect with other parents who have a child with aphantasia. The struggles you face, especially in your child’s school and learning. Aphantasia is not viewed as a diagnosis therefore we have no aid in our child’s learning process. I am wondering if anyone has found a way around this to help with aid assistance at school?
Parenting an Aphantasia child
I am not a parent but I have just experienced the revelation of having Aphantasia and was talking with coworkers about how helpful this would have been to know as a kid. Kudos to you for being so proactive! I think how this effected me the most school wise was really having to take a ton more notes than my peers and remembering information through repetition and kinetic learning
I too was thinking about how it might have affected me through out my life, and believe that it definitely played a role in my school life. Not sure if any of this can help you but here is my take.
Thought experiments like, “Imagine yourself 5 or 10 years from now. What does your life look like?” never made any sense to me. I just assumed everyone was just saying what they assumed the teacher wanted to hear.
I remember struggling to understand fractions in math class. I was told to imagine a cake being cut in pieces. That didn’t do anything for me. I was trying my best to recall an experience of a cake being cut in 8/16… and than keep count in my head. It took me till my early 20s to realize what the purpose of a variable was. In school teachers always said thinks like: “A variable can be anything”, that made 0 sense to me. But at that time I had already given up on trying in math because I though I was just to dumb for it. I understood, once someone in a university computer science class told me it is like a container, that can hold something else in it. The container does not really matter, its what you put inside the container.
The whole idea of “visualizing” success, or “imagining what good grades” would do for me never made sense. When I was told that i need good grades in order to find a good paying job, I could not relate to that. I could not picture, how studying would lead to anything.
I always needed to KNOW what my reward would be like. I could not be motivated with promises of things I didn’t already know, or had to imagine what the reward would be like. To me all of the above just were words people were saying.
People always called me a “smart-arse” ever since I was a child. It took till my early-mid 20s to realize, that people don’t always want to hear the correct answer, or be told that they were wrong or inaccurate. Sometimes they are just trying to get a point across, and the details are not that important. As a child (and till this day) I can get obsessed with “knowing” things, that I am interested in. Ever since early child-hood was intrigued by the fact that there are boundaries to knowledge. Apparently I was pretty annoying when drilling people with questing they could not answer. It made them feel like I was forcefully trying to be annoying.
But I still feel like even though I never knew of Aphantasia I became a pretty decent person. If you don’t know you have something, It wont bother you. I say even if you know your kid is aphantasic, don’t make it a “condition”. They just think different.