Synaesthesia in Autism



Synaesthesia — a phenomenon of perception, when stimulation of one sensory modality triggers a perception in one or more other sensory modalities. Synaesthesia is not uniform and can manifest itself in different ways. As the sensations and their interpretation vary in different periods of time, it makes it hard to study this phenom¬enon. The article presents the classification of different forms of synaesthesia, including sensory and cognitive; and bimodal and multimodal synaesthesia. Some synaesthetes have several forms and variants of synaesthesia, while others – just one form of it. Although synaesthesia is not specific to autism spectrum disorders, it is quite common among autistic individuals. The article deals with the most common forms of synaesthesia in autism, advantages and problems of synesthetic perception in children with autism spectrum disorders, and provides some advice to parents how to recognise synaesthesia in children with autism.

General Information

Keywords: synaesthesia, synaesthete, sensory modalities, sensations, perception, autism spectrum disorders, autism

Journal rubric: Expert opinion

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Bogdashina O.B. Synaesthesia in Autism. Autizm i narusheniya razvitiya = Autism and Developmental Disorders, 2016. Vol. 14, no. 3, pp. 21–31. DOI: 10.17759/autdd.2016140302. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Olga B. Bogdashina, PhD in Philology, Visiting Professor in Autism Studies, University of Birmingham, Consultant (Autism) – the European Institute of Child Education & Psychology, Great Britain, e-mail:



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