Decorating your home when you think colours are feelings or emotions

Today, I made the brave or somewhere foolish decision to redecorate our home. Both me and my husband were born with Aspergers but like any people with Aspergers will tell you no two people with it are the same. Firstly I am an extrovert where he is an introvert, he thinks in pictures and I think in numbers.

So we see colour in a completely different terms. Where I think colours represent emotions but my other half is not bothered. This made me think of how colour can effect some people with the difference. I decided to see if there was a difference between how I process colour and what effect it has on people who have a sensitivity to colour. Right, so start on Google, which came up with a million and one little sites. So lets try their own scholar app. This came up with some interesting looking articles, the first was a case study by Ludlow et al (2009) which claimed to identify that colours can be used to mediate behaviour issues in Aspergers. Problem I can see with this study is its only one child in the case study and so does not give a balanced viewpoint. The findings of this study shows that when the subject had a specific coloured glasses on, he was less anxious. I’m a little sceptical but then I remembered that I prefer wearing sunglasses that have purple shading. So maybe?

The interest in this lead me to see if neuro-typical people have an emotional attachment or emotional perception of colours. Well studies such as David Simmons in 2009, showed that out of 250 participants in the study attach emotions to a colour for example red for anger. So now I am even more confused and I have around 14 colours painted over my living room wall. Advantage of this, my husband has worked out what colours and where in the house they need to go on (I love his visual mind!). So anxiety meltdown averted. Hopefully now we can decorate the whole house and finish our spring cleaning.

References

  • Ludlow, A.K. and Wilkins, A.J. (2009) ‘Colour as a therapeutic intervention’. Available at: http://www.essex.ac.uk/psychology/overlays/2009-182.pdf
  • Biggum, C.P., Hough, C.A., Kay, C.J. and Simmons, D.R. (2009) ‘New Directions in Colour  Studies’ Available at Amazon UK on the following link:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Directions-Colour-Studies-Carole-Biggam/dp/9027211884/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1460660480&sr=1-1&keywords=new+directions+in+colour+studies
  • Valdez, P., Mehrabian, A. (1994) ‘Effects of colour on Emotions’ Journal of experiemental Psychology, Volume 123, Issue 4, pgs. 394-409. Available at: http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/xge/123/4/394/
  • Küller, R., Ballal, S., Laika, T., Mikelides, B. and Tonello, G. (2006) ‘The impact of light and colour on psychological mood: a cross-cultural study of indoor work environments’ Ergonomics, Volume 49, Issue 14, pgs. 1496-1507. Available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00140130600858142

 

 

Aspergers and sensory interactions

First of all a little disclaimer:

I have Aspergers and my blog offers my truth, information and hopefully opens a few peoples’ eyes about the daily challenges and opportunities awarded to being not neuro-typical.

 

Okay, so first a little description of Aspergers. In layman’s terms, it is a condition on the autistic spectrum and we have major problems with social interactions, judging peoples’ emotions and reacting to emotions in the socially normal way. Some of us including me have hyper sensitive reactions to outside stimuli such as Light, sound and smells. By hyper sensitivity I mean that something that a normal person would considered dim lighting is perfect for someone with Aspergers. OK challenges with this is that when we become overstimulated we can react in a number of ways, sometimes we completely shut down into our own world or we react in violently and anxious. A personal example is during a simple shopping trip to Tesco. I was shopping in one aisle and could smell an odour which made me completely distracted until I had found the source. It cost me another 40 minutes and I couldn’t actually finish the shopping that day because I felt so overwhelmed.

 

This over stimulation is a major hurdle to socialising when growing up. There have been several books about Aspergers (My personal recommendation would be Pretending to be Normal: living with Aspergers Syndrome by Liane Holliday Wiley) Another challenge of over stimulation is that once it happens that the person can be exhausted from all that information being processed. The advantages of having sensory sensitivity for Aspergers people is that we have an ability to either hear, feel or smell stuff that others don’t. This ability is brilliant when you have to find either a yummy restaurant or hear people talking quietly. There are a number of ways people with Aspergers either relieve or coping mechanisms, from avoidance and blocking out stimulus to those who use this sensory overload to create new and interesting art.There are several great resources for further information which will be useful for those who have been diagnosed and those who have an interest in the subject.

  • Pretending to be Normal: living with Aspergers Syndrome by Liane Holliday Wiley. Available at amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pretending-Normal-Liane-Holliday-Willey/dp/1849057559/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1460574334&sr=1-1&keywords=pretending+to+be+normal
  • Asperger’s Syndrome Foundation at http://www.aspergerfoundation.org.uk/
  • Cognitive load and Asperger’s: Teaching relevance a paper by Lauren Leonard. Available at: http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1036&context=jseem
  • When the world becomes ‘too real’: a Bayesian explanation of autistic perception by Elizabeth Pellicano and Burr. Available at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364661312002008

    So hope this helps