Autism and lack of spatial awareness
Written on 3rd Jul 2015 by Alex Lowery
A lot of people with autism have poor spatial awarenesss skills and I am no exception. I often can’t see things that are right in front of me. This can make me awkward and clumsy to a point. For example – I may not be aware when I’m standing in somebody’s way. I also really struggle to carry really heavy things like washing machines. I know that everybody would struggle to carry a washing machine by themselves, but I struggle even when I have help. It’s a really big effort to keep my attention on walking as well as making sure the washing machine doesn’t fall down. I find that my hands keep slipping and I often don’t know how I should walk with it. There are people who are less strong than me, but can help carry a washing machine better than what I can. Some people have described a lack of spatial awareness as being where you can’t feel where your body is. When you close your eyes (and have a spatial awareness problem) you may not know which way you’re pointing.
A lack of spatial awareness seems to be particular common among people with Dyspraxia, which some professionals believe is part of the autistic spectrum. Dyspraxia also seems to have common co-morbidly with autism, which means a lot of people with autism will also meet the diagnostic criteria for Dyspraxia.
Personally, I feel like the reason I struggle with spatial awareness is that I have such difficulty in focusing on the big picture. My attention tends to be on one thing at a time. I did an article on this that you can view here.
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