Our eidetic child

I’ve read that some scientists believe that eidetic memory, otherwise known as photographic memory, is uncommon in adults but is universal in young children. According to the theory it is a thing that is often grown out of. I think it is interesting that the same thing is thought to be true of synaesthesia; that it is a feature normal in the very young that disappears in the usual course of development. Some scientists think synaesthesia and eidetic memory tend to be found together more often than chance, and to me it seems likely that they should be linked.

Being a synaesthete myself, I wasn’t surprised when all of our kids reported experiences that seem to be synaesthesia, but for the youngest it could be a thing that will be grown out of. Our youngest also appears to have an eidetic memory. The other day we were passing through an area that we hadn’t frequented since our youngest attended a kindergarten in the area a few years ago. I had decided to send our child out of our home community to a kindy that offered a good program. As we travelled by car our child came up with the full name and a full description of an outfit of clothes worn by one of the classmates from that kindergarten, a child who hadn’t been seen for years. I asked our child how the classmate was remembered – was a description of the clothes remembered or could our child see a picture of the child inside their head? A pictorial representation was reported.

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