I remember events from earlier in my childhood than most people. I have vivid memories since I was two years old. My earliest memory is from when I was nine months old.
I’ve always suspected that my early childhood memories have something to do with my autism.
It turned out I was right. A study reveals that autistic people have memories from an earlier age in childhood than neurotypical people.
I have memories since I was a baby
My earliest memory is from when I was nine months old. My parents took me with them when they went to pick up blueberries in the woods. I remember traveling in a baby sling on my father’s back.
I also remember my first birthday. That’s when I learned to walk using a red train toy with a push handle.
I have only a couple of faint memories from when I was younger than two years old. However, my memories from the age of two are vivid and clear. Yeah, I remember sitting on a potty and everything!
I remember when my little brother was born. I was two years and four months old at the time.
We took the baby home from the hospital and walked by a dumpster. I asked my parents if they would dump me in the dumpster now. I genuinely felt abandoned. But I remember I was happy at home when I got to hold the baby on the sofa.
I wonder if I have memories from an early age because I learned how to talk very early. It might also be related to my autism.
A study reveals that autistic people have vivid memories from a very young age
A study published in 2016 reveals that autistic people remember events from an earlier age in childhood than neurotypical people. The autistic participants of the study also had early memories with more sensory detail than the non-autistic participants.
Earlier studies indicate that autistic people have difficulties memorizing predefined events. The 2016 study revealed that when no cues were given, and the autistic participants were free to choose which memory to recall, they remembered events from very early in life.
The researchers speculate that the heightened response to sensory stimulation in autistic people might enable them to recall early memories using sensory pathways.
The study also refers to the intense world theory.
According to the intense world theory, people with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) experience the world more intensely because of their overactive brain circuitry.
The hyperactive brain circuitry could also lead to hyper-memory.
The study also indicates that language has an important supporting role in memory formation. That could also explain why I have such early memories. I learned to talk earlier than most children.
How about the hippocampus?
Research shows that autistic people have an enlarged hippocampus. The hippocampus is required for long-term episodic memory.
Could the enlarged hippocampus be the reason why people with ASD have vivid memories from such an early age? There is no research on the topic.
What is your earliest memory?
Research shows that autistic people have vivid memories from a younger age than neurotypical people.
The reason for that is still unclear. Is it because autistic people experience the world more intensely?
The result of the study is a fitting example of the fact that autism doesn’t always mean a lack of skills. In many aspects, autistic people have superior abilities compared to neurotypical people.
I remember how I thought and experienced the world as a two-year-old. My earliest memory is from when I was nine months old.
I know what it’s like to see the world through the eyes of a child. Because I still remember the details of my childhood like it was yesterday.
How about you? What is your earliest memory? How old were you? Please let me know in the comments!
You might also like: