What is disturbed perception?

An example of disturbed perception is the misinterpretation or misperception of a shadow, which can be taken for a hole in the ground or the floor. Most probably this misconception comes out of Weak Central coherence, which is also called ‘context blindness’.

Neurotypicals deduce from the context of the situation (light not reaching the floor, because it’s obstructed) that what they see (a hole in the ground) is not what it seems. People with autism often do not take this context into account and take their perception, so to speak, too literally. So, strictly speaking, there’s nothing wrong with the perception itself, the problem is with its interpretation. In other words, in daily life, such as when driving at night, ‘neurotypicals’ do make a leap of faith when assuming the road they can’t see is there, while many people on the spectrum don’t.

This point is relevant, among others, around the positioning and installation of lamps outside buildings, such as homes and schools. (See recommendation 23.)

Another example of disturbed perception, although it doesn’t call for specific measures, is a mistake some with autism make around windows. They can see someone else through a window but cannot imagine they can be observed vice versa. Workers in the Kannerhuis give two examples.
A trainer relates:
“In the greenhouse I work in, youths outside don’t realize I can see them from the inside. They are surprised that, when I come out of the greenhouse, I can tell them what they were doing: How do you know? What is this? Don’t they know that when someone is behind glass he actually is there? Have they taught themselves that beyond a glass plate observations are impossible?”

Tim’s grandfather tells:
“I would enter the house through the back garden. Tim would be told I was coming en would be waiting in the kitchen. As I entered the garden, I saw him behind the wondow. I’d wave, but he wouldn’t wave back. Upon entering the kitchen he would always be surprised to see me, although he could have seen me through the window. It was as if he couldn’t see beyond the window.  As he grew up he could look further.”