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Life in Color

Honestly, he's done it for as long as I can remember -- as soon as Noah had the vocabulary down, he described songs in terms of color. One day he asked for the "yellow song," and sobbed while I offered up track after incorrect track of Raffi and Dan Zanes, desperately trying to figure out what the hell song he was talking about. A song about rainbows? That paint-mixing song from Blue's Clues? Big Bird? I finally gave up, assuming it was probably some blasted Moose and Zee segment from TV with a yellow background or yellow flower or something similarly random.

Then, later: a scary movie theme. Violins in minor key. Ominous timpanis. His eyes grew large and he fled the room. "NO RED SONG," he said. "OFF. NO."

For awhile, we assumed he was assigning colors in lieu of how the song made him feel. Yellow = happy songs, red = angry, scary. Then came pink songs and purple songs. And he learned how to express how he was feeling with real words, but the color thing persisted. I cycle through my iPod or the radio pre-sets in the car and he regularly makes his requests from the backseat. "No, Mommy," he says politely and articulately, "I want the yellow song."

Once a song has a stated color, it never changes. Yellow songs tend to be upbeat, playful. Most children's music, Jack Johnson. Although his current radio favorite, You're Gonna Go Far, Kid by The Offspring, is also a yellow song. Red songs are usually in a minor key, or somewhat dramatic sounding. Classical music, the theme from The Incredibles. Anything with a strong bass line or heavily orchestrated with woodwinds and strings is either purple or pink. Everything from The White Stripes to Coldplay to Beyonce has been lumped into the purple/pink realm. 

Songs are never green and only rarely blue. Some songs don't have a color, Mommy. I mean, God. 

Sometimes I catch him squinting, idly attempting to pinch or swat at the area in front of his face. 

He is left-handed. He has a near-photographic memory for things he hears, and near-perfect pitch when he sings. I am officially pretty sure we can add synesthesia to our list of Quirks That Make You Go Hmmm.

It seems both entirely logical and yet grossly unfair for a kid who already struggles with ordering and processing his senses to be given the added complication of synesthesia.  His teachers and therapists (all of whom I've had to educate on my theory; most of whom seem to think I'm talking New Age psychobabble nonsense) report that as noise levels go up, Noah's coping skills go down. He hides, he covers his ears, he wanders around in circles or becomes utterly fixated on a soothing, repetitive task. Amateur singing, whether by me or a teacher or anyone without a record deal, pretty much always drives him bonkers. "STOP!" he shouts. "YOU DON'T. YOU CAN'T." Certain music has the opposite effect -- simple piano music soothes and centers him, though so far his perfectionist nature has kept from experimenting very much on his own keyboard.

And yet, when I read about it, and about all the amazing musicians and artists and great thinkers who have had variations of synesthesia and used it as a gift, an enhancement, a privilege to see the world in a completely different way than the rest of us, I can't help but be more than a little impressed at just how much wonderfully mysterious potential is inside that quirky little brain.

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Comments

Ulla

=0) I was just singing you are my sunshine today and remembered the video of you and Noah singing it together. And then you posted this!

TJ

The idea that Noah's current favorite song is an Offspring song has totally made my day.

Valerie

I once met a woman who tasted words, which is apparently a very rare form of synesthesia. It was fascinating and she was amazing. Just like your Noah.

I have no doubt that these "quirks" are preparing him for greatness.

(And apparently the word "Valerie" tastes like warm strawberry jam"to her.)

Lisa

We really think my fiance is bipolar and we put his moods into colors, somedays he is green and so on. Sometimes just work to describe things better. Rock on Noah.

M. Bailey

What a great talent to have!

My Noah also has an amazing ability to hear a song once and be able to sing it in the appropriate key -- not sure where he gets it from; or how he tolerates my terrible rendition of Twinkle Twinkle each and every night.

catherino

My 8 y/o Noah has a version of synesthesia. I didn't discover it until he was in kindergarten. For him, it's numbers that have colors. Some letters as well, although they don't seem to be as set in stone as the numbers. I think it's kind of cool ;)

cursingmama

I almost hate to ask this - because I personally know the financial affects of a kid who loves them, but have you tried guitar?

drwendy

Please, please try piano lessons!

ahmielyn

I totally do the thing where numbers have personalities, right down to how they interact with each other in mathematical equations. I learned my multiplication tables based on the social interaction of the numbers, not by memorization. I think it's beautiful that Noah can see and feel his music as well as hear it.

Random

Synaesthesia is actually kind of cool. I am diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, and letters and numbers have colours to me (as well as some words, but not many). I think it actually improves memory because you automatically have two sequences assisting you in remembering whatever it is - the sound and the colour, or the letters and the colours, or whatnot. I always had perfect spelling as a child, so I wonder if that had something to do with it - just as Noah's perfect sound memory may relate to his own synaesthesia?!

CourtneyD

Oh, Amy... wow. Noah is just such an amazing little man. I've studied some pretty interesting pieces of alternative learning and synesthesia is just so enthralling. Perhaps this is key with which everything else can be unlocked for Noah- a real gift. Endless thanks for all you share!

Jamie

I have a friend who has synesthesia. He's a composer now. I think it's absolutely fascinating to learn about.

Chris

For all of the concerns you've had about Noah's learning processes, you've got to give him credit for his always interesting diagnoses. :)

Hairy Farmer Family

Hmmm. As always, hearing about Noah's quirks makes me wonder if I'll be seeing the same behaviour myself, a year or two down the line. At present, my troubled 2 year old just claps his hands over his ears and looks hunted - but has no verbal communication with which to express his evident discomfort. He's blatantly unappreciative of my guitar playing, too - even after I learnt that all-important third chord...

But reading about His Fabulousness could never be anything other than delightful - especially when you give us such edible photos! Totally gonna go far, kid.

Candice

I hope he some day realizes how incredible a gift it is to have that. It's beyond incredible really.

Lise

Amy,

What a wonderful thing. It is almost always the case that the things that make life so hard when we're young are also the things that make us all the things we love about ourselves as an adult. Teasing teaches compassion (usually)and hardship teaches gratitude for the small things.

At the risk of sounding like an 80 year old, it think all of Noahs hardships will build his character!

Heidi

Your kid is so cool!

Jackie

I think this is amazing. I hope you are still blogging when Noah and Ezra are grown so we can hear about the wonderful things they are doing.

Enna

George Gershwin! Rhapsody in Blue! I have no idea whether this is true, but they taught my sister in med school that George Gershwin had synesthesia. He apparently saw Rhapsody in Blue AS blue. Reportedly, he would tell the musicians who were rehearsing it, "A little bluer, please." Isn't that cool? (Tough for the musicians, but cool as hell.) It must be hard on you and Noah now, as synethesia could easily be seen as LITERAL sensory integration disorder. But, really, as disorders go, synesthesia is the coolest of the cool. People drop acid in often futile hopes of replicating it. I don't mean to sound callous saying so, but there's something magical about it.

Karen Chatters

I'm pretty sure that Noah is going to cure some disease or something equally HUGE. There's pure genius in that adorable little man.

Laurie

On a much more mundane point, have there been any coping issues with the left handedness? My son is just two but I'm getting the sense that he is left handed.

I realize you have bigger issues to tackle but I've been wondering if I need to do anything other than get him special scissors.

So, do you have playlists by colors now on your iPod/iPhone?

Alice

my sister and i both experience synesthesia, although my sister far more accutely than i. she's currently getting her phd in genetics from stanford.

it's odd - i always thought of my synesthesia as a benefit. granted, i didn't have the added challenges that noah does, but i always thought i was lucky that i.. i don't know.. "understood" the fundamental nature of things more than other people. like, i felt sorry for people who DIDN'T know what color each letter of the alphabet is :-)

amazed + relieved

@drwendy - your numbers have personalities?

You have no idea how great it is to read that in your post. My numbers have always had personalities, too, but I assumed nobody else perceived this quality. I once told my dad and he was totally like "what? um, that's weird" so I never told anyone else...

Hillary

OK, so I know this is super simplistic, given the amount of time and heartache you've had with trying to figure out all these quirks, but all I can think is:

Oh my gosh, that's so cool.

Allie

I have the number-personality brand of synaestheia like Ahmielyn, and I also have time-space related synaesthesia. It causes abstract concepts like time, numbers, etc present themselves concretely in my brain.

Like, take history. I see a very distinct, winding timeline that would be impossible to explain in text, but basically each unit of time (decades for the past 200 or so years, centuries before that) has it's own "feeling" and color and mood and yes, I am aware of how absolutely insane this sounds. Individual units of time like the year, the week, etc have their own distinct shapes and divisions too.

But yeah, I see it, and I remember seeing it for as long as I can remember, going back to about Noah's age. For as long as I've understood the concept of time, this is how I've seen it. It's just grown as my knowledge/understanding of the world has grown. I didn't realize for a really long time that other people's brains didn't work the same way. But I have a really great memory because of it, so woo! I really rock at pointless trivia games.

Everyone I've ever spoken to who has Synaesthesia has felt like it's only been an asset. It kind of just enhances the way you experience the world. Which might be part of why sounds in particular are so overwhelming for Noah at this stage. I never had the more pronounced sensory issues that Noah is experiencing right now, but I do have what my sister calls "super senses" and I do attribute it to whatever also caused the synaesthesia.

Kristin

I think you have something there. Synesthesia can be frustrating but wonderful.

Delia

I highly recommend this book about synesthesia:

http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Cats-Chartreuse-Kittens-Synesthetes/dp/0805071873

Angela

Wow. That's actually really cool. Not that it isn't another challenge for Noah and you guys, but still, the brain is a remarkable thing, and Noah's is even more amazing.

I'm surprised at the therapists though. I thought Synesthesia was a pretty documented condition these days. Sounds like they're behind the 8 ball on this one.

liz

What a very cool and fun quirk to have!

Nancy

I'm pretty sure quirky is a synonym for beautiful.

http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/synesthesia/

ndc

What an amazing gift your son is! Thanks for sharing him with us.

Sprite's Keeper

I used to be the same way with songs. Sharp brassy instrumentals are still orange to me. :-)

baltimoregal

I don't have anything as interesting or mysterious as synesthesia but I have always had extreme sensitivity to noise, light, color. Especially sharp noises. It's hard being an Army Brat when you can't stand the sound of a marching band! And fireworks are torture. Having always been considered a "sensitive" child (ah, the 70s) I wonder what kind of testing I would have gone through...

Noah is so interesting to me, I think he will have a lot to reveal to us at some point. And Ezra as well!

Ruth

What do you make of the investigation of the air in front of his face? All I can think is auras, but I'm dubious that you were going there.

Spring

I'm a synesthete. I see colors in numbers and letters, and I think it's contributed to my ability as a writer (and my inability to understand math). Nevertheless, I see it as a wonderful gift from God. I'll never forget when I realized that everyone doesn't see life in the same way. It was shocking. I mean, how could 6 be anything but female, and how could 9 be anything but green?

I also have near-perfect pitch. One of the biggest travesties in my life is not picking up the violin. I suppose there's still time, though.

If he likes soothing piano music, I highly recommend Erik Satie played by Pascal Roge. Some of my favorite stuff on earth.

Maggie

We once came home to our dear and only nonfamily babysitter telling us she couldn't sit for us anymore. My husband asked some questions and found out she had tried to sing to our son. After his usual "don't sing! don't sing!" didn't work, he went with "I hate you," out of frustration/to get her to stop. We told her we couldn't sing to him either.

Kathryn

What a neat kid you've got yourself there! :)

MissAndra

Fascinating. I can't stop trying to find more information about the subject now because it's just so interesting and cool! Thank you so much for sharing things like this. Noah is such an amazing little boy.

Kate

Wow. So not a quirk, and so a gift. Think of how much so many of us enjoy music, and how beautiful it often seems. Then think of being able to experience it in color. I'm jealous--or as jealous as one can be of someone as cute as Noah.

The Tutugirl

Every single person I know with some variety of synesthesia (tasting or seeing notes, etc) is both an AMAZING musician and ridiculously smart and doing amazing things. It probably frustrates him now, but I feel like its going to be a big asset in the long run.

Mouse

I experience both the color and personality aspect, though in something of a muted form. It's hard for me to come up with anything specific while I'm not experiencing it. Music produces patterns of shifting shapes and colors when I close my eyes.

My memory is not quite photographic, but highly associative, and I think part of it is the engagement of multiple senses/emotions. This builds up more and stronger neural pathways.

I didn't consciously realize I did this or that not everybody does this until I started reading about Asperger's. My son was just diagnosed and I don't know if he experiences the world similarly.

gizella

i think i fell in love just now. YOU DON'T YOU CAN'T exactly

cobblestone

I have thought for a long time that I have a touch of synesthesia, numbers have color to them and pain in particular has color attached. I was amazed to find out that my mom couldn't imagine the difference between a bronze pain (menstural) and sliver thread pain (pinched nerve). I was 34 when I learned that she didn't get it.

As an adult, it is no big deal.

Dani

How interesting. My husband has always told me how numbers are associated with color for him and he assumed that everyone saw it that way.
It amuses me when he'll tell me things like blue plus green equals 9.
He also has an almost photographic memory and is pretty amazing. So. Those quirks? they can grow into wonderful talents and passionate people.

Olivia

Wow, what an amazing trait. I remember the first time I heard about synethesia on NPR. I thought people with that are lucky to live in such a world of color.

I'm sure it's confusing and sometimes scary for him now. I hope someday he thinks of himself as lucky and amazing.

Stephanie

I have synesthesia. For me it's a jumble of colors and textures associated with smells and taste (my poor husband hears things like “that chicken has too many points, it shouldn’t be that smooth yellow) (YEAH! Sucks to be him!) Please don't think it unfair that Noah should have this amazing ability, he will have a much wider, richer reality. I promise.
I can recommend some amazing books if you’re interested (and if you’re interested in one day exploring the depths of his synesthesia, some amazing doctors who are specialists in our colorful, shape-filled world.)

Susannah

You should read "Born On a Blue Day."

My daughter and I both have a vry low level of synesthesia; sometimes I wish it were more. :)

Aunt Becky

My son is autistic and he's always had a special bond with music and it's just, wow. Amazing. AMAZING.

Sils

I have personification synesthesia and for the longest time I had no idea that it had a name. Then I met a girl who can hear colors and tastes words and she told me about synesthesia. It was one of the most amazing moments of my adult life to realize that there were other people who thought this way! Others thought it was crazy enough that I considered certain numbers as "facing" left or right, let alone that 5 is pure evil and 6 is his stupid sidekick.

I have one friend who will sometimes call when she's having a bad day and ask, "Tell me about the numbers again!" She is absolutely tickled by my the soap opera in my head that is counting and algebra.

Angella

This made me smile. Huge.

Monkey

That is totally fascinating. I've never heard of that before but I can totally see how that would lead to someone being very creative.

Val

He might enjoy Bach for piano - especially the French Suites or Variations. There's something about these, and Bach in general, that occupies a different part of the brain. Almost like an anti-anxiety drug for me.

wordnerd

Methinks you have a musical prodigy on your hands.

(And that's coming from a person who also has a word-taste association.)

This kid is so utterly cool.

Amanda

My brother-in-law is synesthetic. He can hear colors and also see tastes. He's a sound director for a video game company. My husband (the twin brother of the aforementioned brother-in-law) is also a synesthete, he can see tastes. When you get the two of them together... they compare the shapes of certain foods. It can get pretty interesting. If nothing else, its a great party trick.

LPC

Amy, my son does this. He sees music. He's at Princeton. The which I only tell you because it is useful here. He took a creative writing seminar with Joyce Carol Oates. He wrote about how he saw music. She told him it was autistic. Really. In his case, he isn't, and hasn't got symptoms. But the spectrum is just that, a spectrum. I wish Noah the benefit of all his gifts.

Liz

Synesthesia is fascinating and is the core of some of the most well-known music of all time. (Hello, Eddie Van Halen!) Noah is destined for greatness! I'll be all, "I totally knew, er, read your mom when you were little!"

I wonder what it's like for him? If it's like watching the sound board on your media player when the colors dance with the beat of the bass and change with the pitch of the treble?

charlotte

I'm a professionally trained musician and music teacher, and, while I'm just of the near-perfect-pitch kind, I've always admired folks who "see" music and can then paint it. And yeah, even though synesthesia is an amazing gift, if you're only learning to process what feels like an attack on all your senses, it's profoundly scary. But yeah, see if Noah's interested in piano--or even better, violin--lessons. You might even find a music student who'll give them for a small fee or pro bono.

Kristin J

I wanna be like Noah! What an enormous gift he has!

Kristin H

I'm sure you've done your own research, but the New Yorker had a really interesting article on synesthesia by Vilayanur S. Ramachandran, in the 5/11/09 issue. I found it fascinating.

cagey

I understand where Noah is coming from. I don't see songs as colors, but I do see numbers, days of the week and months of the year with distinct genders and personalities. It was only a year ago that I discovered this even had a NAME and that other people do the same thing!

Bea

I have a brother who is truly gifted at music, but has always seen the world from a different perspective. In fact, it's music that let him communicate more effectively.
I love that you're working so hard to see it from Noah's point of view - and I can only imagine how hard that is.

Cassie

Dates have a spatial relation for me. The calendar is a loop and weekends are higher than weekdays. May is larger than April but smaller than August.

Rebecca

For me, odd numbers are - and have always been - warm colors, and even numbers are/have always been cool colors (mostly greens and blues). I like evens better. :)

I was captivated when I first heard there was an actual name to this phenomenon. I think Noah is lucky!! Maybe you can teach him that it's a superpower -- not everyone has it, and that it's a gift (like so many others upthread have said).

Sarah

Seems like I remember him carrying around a book jacket with a treble clef on it? I'm probably butchering the story, but the affection for music can't be an accident.

Joyce

That's purty awesome and much more common than you might think! Ok, this is random, but I'm an opera singer and my husband is a pianist, so yeah, music. Back in college theory class, we were often asked to describe each piece and key in certain colors and many, many, people with perfect pitch assign colors to pitches. My voice teacher often asks me to sing things in certain colors. Noah obviously shows that he has a great ear and that is just so cool at such a young age.

(Assvice alert: l soooo recommend not starting piano lessons - or any instrument - till age 6 at the very least. That's my assvice. Soooo tired of trying to teach 4 and 5 year olds who just get confused and frustrated, then give up, when if they waited a few years, they'd really love it. K, rant over.)

Cristin

"Born On A Blue Day" is an amazing book! Someone mentioned it earlier in comments, too.
Check it out if you get a chance. Fascinating stuff. Noah looks so grown up, BTW!

Cara

Not to down play the fact that this is likely going to be at least a small pain in the arse for Noah, but wow what a cool place his world is, too.

Beth Miller

Vladimir Nabokov was a synesthete. Noah's in very good comapny.

Cara

p.s. to Allie - that does not sound insane. It sounds awesome and like a much better way of perceiving history than my often screwed up 'wait, which era was that again?' struggle.

megs

It is so nice to hear others have this relationship to numbers.

(and agreed-5 is awful, 6 only marginally less so)

For me, numbers have always had colors, genders and personalities, and I have bizarre preferences for certain numbers and letters of the alphabet.

The few times I've admitted this to friends, their reaction has been mixed, weirded out, to charmed, to fascinated.

As a child these preferences could lead me to despair, frustration, anger, etc. But as an adult they are just in the back of my head, there but not affecting anything (well, okay, they still affect some minor choices...).

This is the same as most kids who have what everyone agrees are "normal" problems--problems sharing, meltdowns, tantrums, shyness--that might still have some place in their adult personality but they don't stop them from functioning.

Of course, my point is not to say Noah will "grow out" of anything--Noah is who he is, and that's GREAT. And you are doing the right, the best, thing, in meeting him where he is and encouraging his uniqueness, rather than trying to smush it into "normalcy."

Katie

That is the coolest thing, and fascinating reading everyone's comments. Apparently it is pretty common--I think the Wiki article said 1 out of 23 people have it? In any case, it sounds very interesting, and it makes me wonder what kind of musician he would make. Three cheers for Noah! :)

Bachelor Girl

As someone who sees the world a little differently than everyone else, I can assure you that Noah has an incredible gift.

LL

I don't have any personal stories of synesthesia, though for some reason I have always been especially delighted by the fact that 7 x 3 = 21. I just wanted to say that for once, it wasn't your writing that brought tears to my eyes, it was your commenters. It's so wonderful when people use the internet to bring warmth and kindness to someone else.

Amy :)

As soon as I read the title of your post today, I knew what it was going to be about. I have a little bit of synesthesia in that I see numbers in color. I only found out there was a name for it a few years ago. Also, of course Noah is left-handed - lefties rock!

Lis

Amy, I have synaesthesia and I often think it is one of the great gifts my brain has been given. Noah sees the world SO much more vividly than you can possibly imagine, and it's such an amazing world. Sometimes it is scary and overwhelming, but he'll learn how to handle it. It becomes okay when you see (and feel! and taste!) the spectacular parts of the world.

Please encourage him when he uses colour to describe things. Never try and tell him he's wrong on what colour something feels. When he's old enough to spell he may be very insistent that letters have colours - they are going to be how they are going to be, and that's that. And a colour may have to be banned from your life. My poor parents had to repaint my bedroom when I was eight because I could NOT handle periwinkle blue. Twenty years later and I still get vomitty just seeing the colour.

I'm deaf, so I don't know about songs... but my god, I know about colours. My synaesthsia drove me to be a photographer and most people tell me that my sense of colour is above and beyond anything they have seen. :)

Katie Bug

I've actually written papers that use colors as a form of literary criticism, much like Noah's "yellow song" and "red song."

For instance, the Lord of the Rings books are a very lush, deep forest green. And Twilight is a dark, pulsing red. Books that I tend not to care for are light, dusty tan - like sand. Makes your mouth dry.

Amie Simmons

he's a genius.

Marilyn

My sister has synethesia. Hers is mostly associated with numbers - certain numbers are certain colours. Synethesia is such an interesting thing that seems to be fairly well known now. I'm surprised (and disappointed) that you are being met with disbelief from therapists who should be well aware of the condition.

Kyla

I was totally thinking synesthesia before you said it. I think it sounds pretty cool...but yeah, noise would be pretty overwhelming if you were seeing it in color, too.

Candace

My husband and I both had the same thoughts - get him a keyboard. something small, something simple, but something not for kids. Something he can use to help explain what he's seeing in the music. We're both musicians by training, and think it really may help him in the end.

Mommy Needs Therapy

That is seriously fascinating! And so awesome that you can see something wonderful in his future like that.

My Noah shoved a kids head into the wall today. All I can see for him in the future is juvenile detention... *sigh*

Tricina

I've always been pretty enchanted by synethesia and other rare neurological super powers. You know, some neuroscientists believe that we're all born with it and slowly loose the connections between senses. Noah is a very special kid.

Andrea

I think you would really appreciate this print from an artist on Etsy who has synethesia
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=27976624
I have one of her other numbers prints and it makes me so happy - it's titled "synethesia"

Dacia

Synesthesia - I never knew there was a name for it! I can remember personifying numbers and letters as a kid. It's still there if I think about them but not as strongly as when I was little.

Mommyattorney

My husband has this for numbers. Sort of a color and texture thing. If you rattle off a number that has 5 or 6 digits, he can tell you if it's prime. By how it "looks" to him.

Sarah L.

Maybe Noah is in touch with his chakras - relating to colors/parts of the body.
If he's very attracted to a certain color, it could mean that that chakra is out of balance...for instance, yellow has to do with the abdomen - could have to do with stomach/digestive issues.
Minerals would be the way to go to balance the chakras - this would smooth out the imbalances.

Diane

What an amazing mind!

The perfect pitch is interesting. My son never let me sing to him.

He now can play by ear on the piano (has never taken lessons).

I think Noah may be right brain dominated and may be quite musically inclined. Foster that!From all that you have written, he is clearly academically inclined (just needs the right environment and not too much stimulation). Can you imagine how he must perceive music and sound? Multidimentional.

What incredible beings we create!

Just Me

There is a CD that has nothing to do with synesthesia, but does have to do with the noise issues, and maybe would make noises calmer colors?

I saw it on therapyshoppe.com and it practices lots of common noises that can make those of us who are sensorily messed up crazed. I'm going to get it for myself. Once I'm brave enough.

Ivie

I thought synesthesia was kind of cool when you mentioned it the first time, but after reading all these comments, I'm kind of jealous that I don't have it!

Noah is a fascinating little guy. Thanks so much for sharing him with us. :)

Jill

I'm struck by how Noah was born to just the right mommy, one that's willing to go to bat for him with his teachers about a theory; one who reads lots of stuff to learn more; one who is fascinated and appreciative of his uniqueness. I can't wait until he's a successful, awesome adult, and you're out to dinner laughing over a nice glass of wine, when he thanks you for all you've done, grins, and the conversation moves on to other stuff... that's going to be one sweet moment.

Niki

He is pure potential. I am so happy that he has you for a mother.

Stacy

Ever since I learned about synesthesia I wanted to have it. I hope Noah loves this special gift.

peanutsmama

As Olivia mentioned, NPR did a piece on this amazing phenomena not too long ago. I can't believe his teachers are skeptical. I read aloud in my head when I read a book and it happens automatically and each character has its own distinct voice, which I'm sure most people do. So, why should we be surprised that people see music in color. I think it is beautiful, and would love to experience it.

Liana

Just another Amalah reader here with a less-common form of Synesthesia! Reading these comments has made me teary with joy. I thought I didn't have "real" synesthesia because I don't see colors in music and letter and numbers don't have colors for me.
But tastes have shapes in my head and often color. Certain sensations have shapes, same with smells.
Numbers do have personalities and there is always a subtext when I'm doing math.
It makes me feel so less alone, so much less "weird" to read about others who are more similar to me!
I, too, am left-handed. :)

Oh, and my best friend's mother-in-law has the synesthesia with each letter of the alphabet having a color and personality and my friend did an art project on it called "Frederica's Alphabet."

Amy, thank you for sharing about Noah - it's great to learn more about him...and it's also great to, yet again, realize my issues, ways of perceiving the world, etc., aren't as uncommon as I thought! THAT is a huge gift.

LesleyG

Everything (everything!) Allie said (above) is me. And it only took 28 years of life before I realized what I was doing had a name. It felt so natural to me that I clearly remember every single time someone else told me no, they did not in fact arrange numbers/days/months/years/etc. in their mind that had a distinguishable, unchanging timeline. "You mean your numbers don't go up little stairs?!"

But, now that I know more about it, and more people are talking about it, I see it as an asset (I think Allie said that too). It makes sense to me and in a mind that struggles a lot with making things make sense, it's extremely valuable to have things that are concrete, like my little Day of the Week Parabola. (Yes, I know.)

So good, GREAT for you for recognizing it, seeing it, and talking about it. Because then it becomes an asset for Noah and you guys, too.

Superfantastic

I'm so happy that Noah has a mom who sees his potential. So many parents want their exceptional children fixed. Yes, it is difficult to watch them struggle in areas that are easier for other kids, but with special needs come special abilities and special ways of seeing the world. So much of the art and music in our world, so many of the innovations that make all of our lives easier and better come from people whose brains function differently than "normal". Who knows what greatness lies within your baby?

amymarie

Noah is so lucky to have a mom who researches and listens and figures him out -- quicker than the 'experts'. Keep on Amy!

Jenny

violin, violin! my 3 year olds are in voilin and it is doing wonders for my little one with some fine motor issues and some sensory issues. It is amazing what they can learn and do. I am not a stage mom, we just want the girls exposed to things but honestly, they do things differently because of their lessons.

Jeanne

Just so you know, I don't "heart" anything, but I "heart" Noah. What a fantastic kid.

Erin

I have synesthesia, although a different form than Noah. I actually never gave it any thought until one day I described something as tasting pointy and it was noted to me that most people don't use shapes to describe taste!

It presents itself in other ways too, sensations have texture, I see words when I speak, etc. I actually like having synesthesia, it gives everything a unique and different dimension.

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