Aphantasia¬†is a commonly co-occurring condition for autistic people. Look at a picture on your wall, one you’re very familiar with, or a photo in your phone. Now close your eyes…Can you still see it in your mind? If the answer is ‘no’, this could be an example of aphantasia, (it may just be that the picture does nothing for you that’s memorable – I’m not diagnosing you!).

My Mum has this and has given permission for me to quote her: “I remember images, I think, in my ‘mind’s eye’. I read about this when I realised that other people ‘saw’ images. It might explain the geographical dyslexia too”. What she says is that she can look a familiar picture on the wall, say, and when she closes her eyes she cannot see that image, however hard she tries. She imagines in words, not pictures.

It’s more complicated than this (as ever!) as it can extend to the inability to imagine using other senses – that’s multisensory aphantasia. Here’s a good starting point if you want to know more: Aphantasia Network

If this doesn’t ring true for you, you might want to read the glossary entry on hyperphantasia.