Master of Science
Department or Program
Department or Program Chair
Elizabeth Truesdell PhD
Madalienne F. Peters, EdD
Synesthesia is a neurological disorder that has to do with the ‘union of the senses.’ The literature reveals that students with synesthesia are affected with various degrees of severity. Students may hear a bell ring. Their brain is wired to take that sound and interpret it differently, through color, texture, taste, sound or temperature among other things. While some people hear a bell, others may also experience the activation of another sense. The difficulties these students exhibit involves longer processing or thinking time to sort out the extra stimulus. Limiting sound environments and other visual cues like color coding to help these students to comprehend what is going on around them, particularly in the classroom. The purpose of this study is to identify and document the experience through the use of a case study, and describe the challenges an individual faces under these circumstances. Jessica, a young adult who served as the focus of this case study, shares her first person experience of what it is like to cope with synesthesia. Jessica exhibits other forms of synesthesia including grapheme to color, time units to color such as weekday to color, month to color, spatial sequences, pain to color and numbers to personalities. Data from her first person experience and childhood was the subject of the study. Data of her experiences from childhood into adulthood were gathered and analyzed. The findings suggest that Jessica continues to consistently demonstrate over a period of 12 years grapheme to color synesthesia. Jessica was tested and retested her over a period of five months and the results demonstrated that her alphabet and numbers to colors stayed consistent during that period of time as well. Jessica’s numbers to personalities stayed consistent although she used different words to
describe the numbers, but the general personalities stayed consistent over the five-month test and retest. When tested and retested over a six month period Jessica also stated the same time units to color such as weekday to color and month to color. Although this study did not have the capabilities to measure Jessica’s claims of spatial sequences and pain to color Jessica did report it in the test and retest constantly over the five-month period.
Wheeler, Kateri Lynn, "Understanding Synesthesia and Impact for Learning" (2013). Graduate Master's Theses, Capstones, and Culminating Projects. 41.