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Pathography

Pathography - warning that this is not any new species of duck found recently. And that this is not any reprint of Psychopaths, unfortunately.


Pathography is about the study of the person or history of a particular community with regard to their experience of a particular physical or mental condition. It has been used for several conditions, such as HIV/AIDS, Diabetes, but also Depression, Bipolar Disorder and many others. The Pathograph takes on a graphic format rather than just being written down. Because some people have difficulty in writing, due for example to some characteristic of their physical or mental condition. But also because some people feel greater difficulty in writing about certain topics or life experiences. And in fact, people with a particular medical condition end up having more traumatic periods in their lives and therefore more difficult to expose. And this approach ends up becoming a facilitator, not only of the expression and internal experience of the person. But it also ends up being a facilitator in communicating with the health professional about what he or she is feeling.


For example, I remember in 1985, when the A-HA song and videoclip were released. Take on me, that even if I took the sound off the television (which I did as an experiment), it was possible to understand what was happening in the video clip. And this is because the animation, even without subtitles, was able to translate the meaning of what was happening.


Pathography not only narrates the hopes, fears and anxiety so common to many people's medical conditions, but also serves as a guide to the medical experience itself, helping to shape the bedside expectation about the course and treatment of a particular medical condition. For example, when a young person is diagnosed with Diabetes and requires a whole set of procedures in their daily life to regulate their blood sugar levels. It is quite possible that at first they may feel frightened by all this information. Even if it is explained by health professionals, parents and other written materials. However, a Patograph, usually written by a person with the same condition may make it easier for you to understand the above-mentioned procedures.


But Patographs can also be used to help restore the experiential dimension of the condition and its treatment, leading to placing the person at the centre of that experience.


And what has all this to do with Autism? I would say, it has everything. Many people remember Temple Grandin saying that she thought in pictures. And in one of the many books she wrote, Temple Grandin mentioned, "When I think about abstract concepts, I use visual images...thinking about language and words is foreign to me. I think in images". And apart from Temple Grandin, it is very common for autistic people to be described as thinking more on a visual level. Whether it is thinking in pictures or using visual strategies such as visual mental representations, it is known that there is a greater activation of the visual cortex of autistic people in multitasking. In addition, people also use visual strategies and mental representations when performing language comprehension and verbal reasoning tasks


Besides there are many autistic people with this type of pattern in information processing. It is also known the interest in many autistic people in drawing. And if we associate this with the need to communicate more and better with others. We think that the use of this strategy can serve a good purpose. And with the additional of helping neurotypicals to better understand autism and autistic people.


And as PsychoDuck says - Amongst fools, he who has sense is the duck!


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