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Understanding Prosopagnosia (face blindness)

What is Prosopagnosia?

Prosopagnosia, also known as face blindness, is a condition where an individual struggles to recognise people's faces. This can make it difficult for them to identify friends, family, or even their own reflection. While it may sound unusual, prosopagnosia is more common than you might think, especially for those who are autistic. In fact, it occurs in more than 36% of autistic adults compared to around 2% in the general population.

Living with Prosopagnosia

Living with prosopagnosia can be challenging. It takes a little longer for individuals with this condition to get to know people. They often rely on people’s outlines and hairstyles to identify them. As such, a simple change like a new haircut or wearing a hood in the rain can make it hard for them to recognise familiar people. When I had a business meeting, I would study the profile pictures of people I was going to meet so that I had a better chance of recognising them! It takes a lot more effort and it’s draining. For autistic individuals, this can add an extra layer of challenge to social interactions.

Prosopagnosia in Children

If a child has face blindness, they might wait for you to wave when you're collecting them from school, or they might approach strangers thinking they're you. They might seem clingy when they meet someone they don’t see very often. This is because it just takes a little longer for them to recognise people. It's important to be patient and understanding with children (and adults!) who have this condition.

Let's continue to spread awareness and acceptance for all individuals, and remember to be patient and understanding in our interactions with others. Together, we can make a positive impact on the lives of those with face blindness.

If you or someone you know is affected by face blindness, feel free to share your experiences and let's support each other in our journey. Together, we can make a difference!

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