Little girl, little boy, what do you see?

by julie on November 21, 2012

Last week, during a post-swim practice, pre-bedtime conversation, Tacy asked, “Hey, you know how certain letters and numbers have certain colors?”

“They do?” I was surprised.

Her confidence faltered a bit. “Yeah. Like A is navy blue, B is brown, C is orange…wait, you don’t see that?”

I shook my head. “No, but I’m fascinated that you do. Tell me more.”

It turns out that she has a form of color synesthesia called grapheme. Letters, numbers, days of the week, months of the year — they all have colors associated with them in her mind. She tells us that it’s always been this way for her, and she assumed it was the same for everyone.

We had no idea how much she could see until she told us.

This week, she told us about a little boy who’s losing his eyesight. He’s the younger brother of one of Tacy’s classmates — a girl named Madison who was full of questions and comments during my presentation on Uganda, and who lingered with me after the rest of the class had left for lunch, closely inspecting the paper bead necklace I’d passed around the class.

His name is Nathan, and he has multiple special needs, including autism, ADHD, and SID. His sight has deteriorated rapidly over the past two years due to optic neuropathy, and he is now legally blind.

His mother has a blog where she chronicles developments with Nathan’s health, both the challenges he faces and the progress he’s made. Her goal is to show him as much of the world as possible, while his sight is still good enough to perceive the details of photos and postcards.

Madison showed Tacy’s class the postcards he’s already received, but it would be wonderful for him to receive more. That’s where I’m hoping my friends and readers will get involved.

If you (or better yet, your kids) would like to send Nathan a postcard, please leave a comment here. I’ll email you directly.

To learn more about Nathan, Madison, and their family, please visit Stacey’s blog.

megan November 21, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Duuuude, we’re in!

Always Home and Uncool November 21, 2012 at 2:31 pm

You and your daughter might like to read “A Mango-Shaped Space,” a YA novel my friend wrote about a girl with synesthesia. It’s won several awards.

Cindy November 21, 2012 at 6:04 pm

I would love to send him postcards!

Monica November 21, 2012 at 6:36 pm

Send me the details. The girls can send a postcard. I’m in England next week. I’ll see if I can pick up some.

Magpie November 21, 2012 at 7:59 pm

Send me the address please.

Strabala November 21, 2012 at 11:20 pm

That was a powerful day…the kids all sharing such unique things about themselves. Very very very special kids. I just adore them. Thanks for helping Nathan out!!! And thank you so much for sharing your absolutely amazing experience with our class. Wow. Just Wow.

Emily November 22, 2012 at 9:49 am

I collected postcards for my wedding last year and did use many of them. Please send me his address!

Vasudha November 23, 2012 at 5:41 am

I love postcards and always have. I bought quite a few during my travels over the last years, but would love to share the new country that I call home now – Switzerland! Do send me Nathan’s address!

Elizabeth @ Table for Five November 25, 2012 at 2:21 am

I can find a postcard of the Mackinac Bridge to send. Email me!

p.s. I know, where the heck have I been? Miss you, my longtime friend!

Jen November 25, 2012 at 5:03 am

Hi Julie, I teach 1st grade special education inclusion. I have an awesome group of emerging writers that would LOVE to participate! Please let me know the details & we’ll get started right away. Thanks for sharing this.
Jen

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