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Memory. Can Aspies remember earlier in life?

How early in life do you remember?

  • Birth

    Votes: 4 7.3%
  • 2-3 years old

    Votes: 33 60.0%
  • later than three years

    Votes: 18 32.7%

  • Total voters
I've always suspected that the few memories I do have of my early childhood are from photographs in my family's albums, though I definitely have memories of smells, tastes, textures and art/craft projects but those are after age 6-7. Also have some memories of things that made me feel bad or embarrassed too.

I've only recently self-diagnosed myself but for years have been astounded at my sister's memories (she's 4.5 years younger) because it's like we had completely different childhoods. Not only does she remember tons of stuff I don't, the WAY she remembers things happening is totally different than my recollection (for the things we both remember).

While seeing a psychologist in early college I suddenly recalled repressed memories of sexual abuse by our next door neighbor (she was also our babysitter). So that made me wonder if I've repressed my memories because I was generally unhappy as a child (the abuse & a burst appendix were the only bad things that happened to me -- my childhood was typical of a middle class white American).

When I think of my childhood I just get a somber feeling of trying to remain unnoticed at school and at home and trying to be a "good girl" because I thought my parent's love for me depended on that. I have pleasant thoughts of being with my cat in the woods, reading or working on art projects and sometimes helping my dad build stuff. No memories of feeling really happy, exhilarated or excited though.

I've always wondered about this stuff!
SusenLR, wow that's amazing! How interesting you can remember that far back!
My earliest memory is my second birthday. I can remember my white dress with puff sleeves and pink ribbon round the middle. The layout of the house, who was there. Sitting on the dining chair on my mams Lap getting our photo taking, my nanna Stevenston saying ' is your dad coming, with your presents' (my dad being at work and arriving later) my chocolate cake with my name on and the number two written in pink icing, even the foil surrounding the cake. I rembered my dad arriving and shouting 'daddy daddy'and running over to hug him. The green phonebook and remote on the coffee table. My dad confirmed the memory for me.
I've had this memory stay very clear over the years. When my parents divorced I found the photos, it freaked my out how exact I was.
My earliest memory was going for a scan with my mum. She was heavily pregnant with my sister so that would have been Autumn - Winter 1997? I was about 2 and a half. I remember being told I could fit on the bed too and it being a male doctor. He put the ultrasound jelly on my belly too and I remember it being very cold. I was very very shy and didn't want to talk to the doctor.

I remember waiting with my dad after my mum had given birth to the sister I mentioned above (would have been 31st December or 1st January) and I remember exactly what I said, what I wore, and what I did. I was asking my dad repeatedly, "when are they coming?" and I was wearing a blue flannel shirt (I picture it as quite boyish now) and jeans. I had a play cooker I was going to a lot as well.

The only other 2 memories coming to me are from when I was 3. When my great grandad died and I got told this and cried a lot; and the time when my dad gave me this teddy rabbit.

I can't really remember the years between being 3 and probably 13.
I can remember significant and unusual events which happened when I was 6 months old and recalled them in detail over 30 years later to someone who was present at the time, who verified the authenticity. This memory had occurred to me as flashbacks during my life until then, what I was seeing seemed completely real, though I couldn't locate it in time until I disclosed it to someone who could and did.

I can also remember being lifted onto a horse and held there later that year. It interested me and I can remember seeing the sea in the distance as I sat high. I described this to my older brother in adulthood and he told me exactly where that was. I made a trip to that place, and it was still exactly as I remembered.

These were powerful visual memories, so I think that the idea of it being an ASD capacity is possibly true. The disbelief from people who lack this ability is distressing so I haven't spoken about this for decades until today. Thanks for this thread.
On weaning my first born the smell of the 'baby rice' brought with it a flash of a memory,

In front of me is a red ...(bowl?) it's angled toward me with a small amount of white (against the red) I feel content? Safe?
I hadn't had that flashback before I first mixed up the (white) baby rice for my own son and caught the smell of it. The smell triggered the quite intrusive, colourful memory. I'm presuming I was first weaned with Farley's baby rice at around 3 months old.

A second memory is the smile on my grandma's face and clapping in front of me. I look down at a yellow potty. It has a white rabbit transfer stuck central front. The rabbit is stood on green grass of different lengths. There's pink on the rabbit's mouth. Right next to me and the potty is my square, leather poofy, or footstool/leg rest. It's black, square with a button in the centre.
I like this poofy because I can put it on it's side, lay across the top of it and move it forwards and backwards using my feet to push off.

By all family accounts I went to my grandma's and stayed for two weeks as soon as my younger brother was born and came back from my grandma's 'clean and dry' (potty trained) I was 17 months old.
I can remember little bits from the age 3 and onwards,I vaguely remember around the age of 3 or 4 wandering away from the backyard and ended up walking to the public school,apparently I went missing for a few hours before my parents found me at the school but I do remember being at that school when very little,I can also remember bits of my 4th birthday party too which was my birthday before we moved to another house in another area.
I recall drawing on our wall with my Crayola...I was about 1-2. Also, crying when a neighbor tried to pick me up and biting my grandma around that time...I think it was the first time she failed to charm a baby (she was a pediatric nurse). There were also those times I sat in a corner of our laundry room with the "cow goes moo" toy, the one with a string you pull that speaks. :)

This is interesting...I didn't know it was unusual to have early memories.
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Babyhood, yes! I remember being entranced by the fleur-de-lis pattern inside my stroller and crib (they were a set).
I remember when my world switched from being on my back or stomach, to being able to sit up. I recall being bathed in a mustard yellow plastic dishpan in the kitchen sink. I remember stimming vigorously in my crib. I recall the day diapers got switched to rubber panties. I remember being four months old, and being captivated by birds on a wire outside.

But, I may not remember what happened during the day today.
I can remember back to a point before I could sit up on my own. I was having my picture taken, though I didn't understand that at the time. I recall being propped up by these humongous hands and being caught as I tipped over. The owner of the hands (who I mistook for my grandfather) appeared a giant blur. A bright light then emanated from beside his head. I rather liked bright lights and would stare at light bulbs at that age (how times change) so that, combined with the experience of sitting up, made for a rather novel and memorable experience.

I can also recall having my diaper changed, escaping from my crib, waiting for my mom to come home, and many other instances going back to infancy. My memories aren't as clear as Susan's though. I find it rather impressive that you can even recall what people said going back to the day you were born.
Your memories seem the most like mine.
I have baby pictures that I remember being taken just as you do. My Mom's hand trying to keep me upright as I kept falling over. I had practically no hair at that age and was and still in white baby booties.
I remember diaper changes. Some with funny stories that went with them. Yes, my memories are as clear as if it were yesterday of infancy.
Language is a learned thing so it would be impossible for you to understand it in the first few days you were born...
That's a question I've always wondered also. Learning it later then remembering things that were said is a possiblity as WereBear pointed out. I have also, as have many people and science, wondered about the savant abilities. They almost appear to be born with the knowledge of their gift. It wasn't a special study for me in psychology and it could get into the field of philosophy or parascience. I saw an example of a savant that could be shown the first few notes of a complex classical piece and know what it was and play it. It's as if it is not really learned, just known.
For me it seemed I "thought" in words before I could speak because I remember thinking things and being frustrated at not being able to speak my mind.
An example of this happening: Once when my parents had gone shopping at the grocery store, at the check out there were many things behind the cashier. I saw the game box of Checkers and wanted it. I was just starting to make sounds and in my Dad's arm I started pointing and babbling something like " seckers". I had never seen anyone play checkers. The cashier thought I wanted suckers and kept plying me with them. I got frustrated and started crying. If I couldn't even talk yet, how could I have read Checkers on a box? This is only one example. There were others. The brain is complex and still much to learn.

Those who have the early memories, do you remember them as a picture or do you remember thoughts in words as you do today?
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I can definitely remember walking for the first time & being washed in the kitchen as a baby. I'm not a 100% on one memory I recall but I feel that I can recall a moment soon after birth. I recall hanging upside down in the hospital I was born at with my twin sister. It'd been a caesarian birth due to my sisters umbilical cord having wrapped itself around my neck causing complications that put me under duress.
I recall when I was 2 years old and in the hospital with pneumonia. They'd stick a needle in my foot (I assume drawing blood?) and I would freak out when the nurse came around with one. I recall a baby in a crib across from me and being given a bath in a yellow sink.

I have a memory of being in a crib at night and standing up and looking out the window. No idea how old I was then but I think its my first memory.
I have a distinct memory from around 2 years of age, of being in the crib next to my mom's bed, it was early in the morning, sunrise, the curtains were drawn, I had the urge to be closer to my sleeping mom, so I crawled out of my crib and jumped upon her bed, awaking her with a "WHA???!!" and then she quickly grabbed me and set me back in my crib, then shoved the crib away against the far wall, then jumped back into bed with a huff "HMPH!" I remember being angry, and I started banging my head against the wall. then about the same age but a few months later, I had been placed in my own room at that time, in the crib, and I remember it was night time and my door was open wide enough to where I could see the tv set in the living room, it was black and white and the reception was snowy, and it was a tv commercial for NAPA auto parts, I remember seeing the old NAPA trapezoidal symbol on the screen.
I think they start at around 2 for me. When I was almost 3 I have a distinct memory of begin at the beach with my family and relatives. My cousin pointed to a starfish and said it was a "sea star". I asked if stars weren't in the sky rather than in the sea.

When I was about two to three at my day care asked my father to raise me up so I could get a small branch of pine to give to my caretaker/educator.
My earliest memories are around 2 or early 3. Days of sippy cups, my uncomfortable white Sandles and crying when my aunt came to pick me up from day care instead of my mom.
About 3 I think. Unfortunately my first memories are of traumatic events. I remember vivid details which I would almost rather not know. I do think it may be different for traumatic memories than regular memories though.
I can only remember negative things from my early childhood, I have no positive memories from that time. The first thing I remember was my paternal grandmother screaming at me to stop crying (complete with the F word and calling me names). I was probably two years old.
Two of the funny diaper memories was one of laying on the bed as Mom was trying to do something for my diaper rash. Dad had just came home and told her to put Vicks on it as it should be cooling. Again, can't explain how, but, I thought NO. That will hurt. She did it anyway as I couldn't tell her why and I started crying.
Then when it was time to be potty trained I thought she was trying to trick me into doing something I shouldn't. Always knew I should have on a diaper. I knew where they were kept in the bedroom so I kept refusing to use the potty and would waddle off to the diapers, grab one and do my thing!
I remember my favourite thing to play with was an empty baby shampoo bottle at bath time. Squeezing it under the water then squeezing it back out to make bubbles. No rubber ducky. :(
All I remember from the age of two, is a blue tiled bathroom. Not much to go on, but that is the most I can accurately recall from that age, everything is either inaccurate, or from the age of three.
However, I can remember walking down the stairs at an old house in England. I have a lot of memories from when I was three, but putting them into words may haze the details.

My short term memory is abominable. I can forget what I was going to get just from walking up a set of stairs, sometimes just from walking around a corner.

It is a hilarious parallel, I can recall countless memories from my life in a decent level of detail, yet forget the simplest thing after ascending a set of stairs.

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