Observational skills

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Observational skills

Postby MontyDyspraxia » Tue Jun 29, 2010 11:55 am

I don't mean to toot my own horn but people tell me I'm known for my great observational skills. I have an immense admiration for movies, so I get to see underlying romance or UST between characters even when there's no mention of it all the time. (for example, Cain/Glitch from Tin Man) But the thing is, I don't see the obvious. Once, my friend at college was wearing a stripey T-shirt which he'd never worn before and I like his clothes a lot, but it took me ages to realise what he was wearing. When I did, I was like, "You're wearing a different top!"



Is it just me or does this happen to anyone else?
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Re: Observational skills

Postby Steph » Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:19 pm

My observational skills are very poor-it's one of the reasons why a lot of my relatives think I won't be able to drive. I never notice what people are wearing or how they look and even things like waling to town can be difficult because I don't notice things right in front of me and so trip over them. I also struggle with shops-I lived in my old town for 10 years and yet still couldn't reliably remember which shops there were there!
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Re: Observational skills

Postby Alice » Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:28 pm

I notice odd details that no one notices, mostly to do with colour or text. Mostly though, I'd be hard pressed to notice an elephant 2 feet from my face.
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Re: Observational skills

Postby abi » Tue Jun 29, 2010 3:10 pm

im like that too, but when i notice someting, i dont say. in case im wrong
the way i see it, dyspraxia is an extra hurdle in every race i run, but that extra hurdle, is just extra exercise, so in the end, i will come through stronger.
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Re: Observational skills

Postby Cynamon » Tue Jun 29, 2010 3:20 pm

I notice a lot of things, but I rarely say that I've noticed.

Most people think that I don't notice anything, but very often I do. I just choose not to mention it if there's no reason to.
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Re: Observational skills

Postby Remus » Sat Jul 03, 2010 6:47 pm

I have really good observational skills compared to people around me. I'm really good at finding things. I know once my friend was looking for something and it was right in front of him and I just couldn't get why he couldn't see it. I suppose it is a good skill to have in my career with working with animals as I can visually check them easily for any injuries. I suppose all those Where Wally books when I was young paid off.
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Re: Observational skills

Postby parnassus » Sun Jul 04, 2010 1:45 pm

I have very poor visual discrimination skills, which make it hard for me to notice things. Alice's statement about not being able to see an elephant two feet from her face applies to me as well. During my diagnostic assessment (the WISC) I had to look at a set of familiar pictures and spot the oddity. Usually there was something missing from the pictures. I struggled to complete the task, thanks to poor visual processing, and got a very low score. I'm often oblivious to dangers as a result - recently one of my students plugged in his CD player near the cooker and let the wire snake across hobs that were turned on. I didn't notice that the CD player had been moved, let alone see that we had a serious fire risk. This sort of thing is a cause of much worry and exasperation amongst those who know me. There was a horrible occasion when I was nearly mugged because I failed to notice the mugger approaching me. Fortunately he was so drunk that when a friend tweaked me out of his grasp (he was clinging onto my handbag and my shoulders) he just lurched off down the stairs.

One embarrassing anecdote from my schooldays that follows me around involves me dropping into the housemaster's office to see if Matron happened to be there. She was. I began to relay my message, leaning casually against the filing cabinet as I did so. Except the filing cabinet wasn't a filing cabinet. It was a person, a stranger, a visitor, who showed some consternation when he found me lolling against him with my hair in his face. I finished talking to Matron and left. Matron apologised profusely to the visitor, and the story was all over the boarding house by the end of the day. At first I refused to believe it. I was sure that I couldn't possibly have mistaken a person for a filing cabinet, but Matron and the students who had been in the room assured me that I had. :oops:

Fortunately my observational skills are very good in other ways, if we exclude visual processing totally. I have a long-term memory like a steel trap. I remember conversations from years ago in perfect detail. I can recite huge chunks of what I read word-for-word. This means that I almost always know when somebody is lying to me. If there is a discrepancy between something they said to me eight months ago and something they're saying to me today, I will detect it. This strong long-term memory comes in useful for a lot of other things as well, mainly writing and academic work. I have a very observant eye when I'm writing essays, for example - I remember details from literature that have escaped other people.
"This above all, to thine own self be true." - Polonius, Hamlet.
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Re: Observational skills

Postby Alice » Sun Jul 04, 2010 8:59 pm

Fortunately my observational skills are very good in other ways, if we exclude visual processing totally. I have a long-term memory like a steel trap. I remember conversations from years ago in perfect detail. I can recite huge chunks of what I read word-for-word. This means that I almost always know when somebody is lying to me. If there is a discrepancy between something they said to me eight months ago and something they're saying to me today, I will detect it. This strong long-term memory comes in useful for a lot of other things as well, mainly writing and academic work. I have a very observant eye when I'm writing essays, for example - I remember details from literature that have escaped other people.


I have an odd sharpness in my long term memory. I remember exact wordings because of how they scanned or what didn't fit the flow of speaking/reading(if that makes any sense at all to anyone else), I also remember colours really well. The wording thing causes problems with Mum to this day. She claims I have a bad memory (true) which makes it unreliable (which I don't think necessarily follows), or just that I have made up the whole thing and convinced myself it was real. I beleived her at one point, but my brother assures me it's just what she does when she feels it doesn't agree with her point or make her look bad. I wish she hadn't, I remember too little as it is without doubting what I do.
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Re: Observational skills

Postby parnassus » Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:51 am

Alice wrote:I have an odd sharpness in my long term memory. I remember exact wordings because of how they scanned or what didn't fit the flow of speaking/reading(if that makes any sense at all to anyone else)


Yes. Cadence and incongruity. I know exactly what you mean.

Are you musical, Alice? Most of the people I know who have this ability to remember exact words based on how they scan and 'flow' are able to do the same thing for music. Unfortunately I'm not one of them. Shame, as I would love to have the same gift for music - it would make learning the cello a lot easier.

The wording thing causes problems with Mum to this day. She claims I have a bad memory (true) which makes it unreliable (which I don't think necessarily follows), or just that I have made up the whole thing and convinced myself it was real. I beleived her at one point, but my brother assures me it's just what she does when she feels it doesn't agree with her point or make her look bad. I wish she hadn't, I remember too little as it is without doubting what I do.


My parents don't do this to me, but other people have tried it. My roommates at boarding school used to do it all the time. They reasoned that because I was so disorganised and had such an impaired short-term (working) memory then I couldn't possibly remember conversations from months ago. By this point I was aware that 'memory' is not a monolithic thing - there are different components, and someone with a very poor working memory might have an exceptionally good visual memory, for example. But they used my disability as an excuse to discount everything I said that didn't fit with their version of past events or made them look bad. I believed them for a while. It was quite upsetting to have to keep doubting my head in that way. I trust it now. It's a pretty good head when it wants to be.
"This above all, to thine own self be true." - Polonius, Hamlet.
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Re: Observational skills

Postby Steph » Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:33 am

My mum does the same thing to me, Alice. It can get so frustrating at times that it brings me to tears because I can remember a conversation perfectly and she will insist I made it up as she can't remember it.
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Re: Observational skills

Postby Alice » Mon Jul 05, 2010 5:04 pm

Unfortunately I am not at all musical. The line of exceptionaly good musicians in my mothers family will end with my aunt it seems. I have little to no emotive response to music, which is probably why. Eventually, I discussed with my flute teacher and she said it was doubtful given how long it had taken me to learn my grade one peices, that I would ever get to the point where I could learn to play the sorts of music I wanted to work towards even the ones that where technically "simple". That sounds harsh out of context she was very nice about it, and probably right.
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Re: Observational skills

Postby award » Mon Jul 05, 2010 7:10 pm

my obsivation skills are good however when i do see something such as person i still manage to walk into them :p
however my driving instructor says my planning is very good as well but sometimes co-ordination lets me down
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Re: Observational skills

Postby Steph » Tue Jul 06, 2010 2:34 pm

Today it was proved how poor my observation skills are. I went into my unit to collect this week's rota and my manager said, "Come here-I've got something to show you!" I followed her and she took me to the wall where the students menus are displayed. These menus are both pictoral and written. By Tuesday dinner, I had written, "fishfingers with baked beans and mashed potatoes" but the picture I had put there was of sausages with baked beans and mashed potatoes. In fairness, I'm not sure how a picture of bangers and mash ended up under a Google image search of "fishfingers with mashed potatoes and baked beans" but I had selected that picture, copied and pasted it, printed it out and stuck it on the wall without once noticing that it was sausages rather than fishfingers on the picture. Luckily my manager found it funny but I can't believe I missed that! It could have really confused a student who couldn't read-luckily all of ours can read except one who is fed through a gastrostomy tube anyway and another who has no interest in looking at the weekly dinner menus and will eat anything that is put in front of him anyway.
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Re: Observational skills

Postby Rosie-posie » Tue Jul 06, 2010 4:27 pm

I am very good at observing if someone has had their hair cut, new clothes, have a fantastic long term memory.
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