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Autism from the inside


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The Root/Trajectory Of Autism Is A Diverse “Fruit Salad”

Brain Lobe 2Right hemisphere Functions

  • numerical computation (exact calculation, numerical comparison, estimation)
  • language: intonation/accentuation, prosody, pragmatic, contextual

OVERVIEW 

If some one has an agnosia (perceptual loss) on this side of the brain this is called Social-Emotional Agnosia (not reading “facial expressions”, tone of and being literal) this tends to fit the profile with people with Asperger’s Syndrome. One is using the the left side of the brain (logic, literal thinking to get meaning).

So the Brain is Using The Left Hemisphere To Decode Information Because Of The Neglect

RIGHT HEMISPHERE SYNDROME

Left hemisphere Functions

  • numerical computation (exact calculation, numerical comparison, estimation)
  • left hemisphere only: direct fact retrieval
  • language: grammar/vocabulary, literal

BrocasAreaSmallOVERVIEW

If someone has a agnosia (perceptual loss) on this side they may have an aphasia (language processing disorder) and process before typical interpretation (even literal) information so they loss the words (they become sounds), and they may have visual agnosias (face blindness, meaning blindness, object blindness) so they will not pick up body language this way and may rely on overt gesture and overt tone to get  “meaning” (using the right side of the brain to compensate for the left). less literal and less logical in their processing this could be someone with Autism.

So The Brain Is Using The Right Hemisphere To Decode Information Because Of The Neglect

LEFT HEMISPHERE SYNDROME

VISUAL AGNOSIAS

EARLY BRAIN INJURY ARTICLE 

This could apply to people on the spectrum who have had and recognise brain injury as apart of their autism profile and how they have developed in many areas of functioning. From a personal perspective this article is very informative.

As a person who has left hemisphere brain injury (as apart of my autism), language processing disorder (aphasia) and visual agnosia this is I feel a step in the right direction.

OTHER TRAJECTORIES THAT EFFECT DEVELOPMENT

Paul… for some its brain injury… for some its immune dysfunction… for some its a neuronal migration disorder… for some its being prem… for some its hypoconnectivity… for some its hyper-connectivity.”

Brain Injury

Immune Dysfunction Syndrome

Neuronal Migration Disorder

Premature Syndrome 

Hypo connectivity Syndrome 

Hyper connectivity Syndrome

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Prenatal Smoking

Placental Abruption (Lack of Oxygen)

Vacuum-Assisted Delivery 

Toxins

Genetics 

and many more

Donna Williams

AUTISM & AND IT’S TRAJECTORIES ARE NOT “ONE THING” THEY ARE A “FRUIT SALAD” IN THEIR UNIQUE ORIGIN

Other diverse factors exist in how a person is on the autism spectrum and my own are as diverse and person-centered as another person’s trajectory. It has it’s own “Fruit Salad”.

Donna points out it isn’t just one defining factor but many many different ones and it’s important to not only acknowledge this but to also understand it is a reality for someone too and factors they bring with them. There could be a whole mixture of different factors that contribute to someone being on the autism spectrum.

In other words not only is “autism” not one thing but also the trajectory defining origins/factors aren’t one thing thing either.

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN AUTISM & ASPERGER’S SYNDROME – DONNA WILLIAMS’ BLOG

WHAT IS AUTISM? – DONNA WILLIAMS’ BLOG

Paul Isaacs Adult With Autism 2014


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Autism, Mirroring and The “Sense Of Self”

Note- This is from a personal perspective

The mirror stage (French: stade du miroir) is a concept in the psychoanalytic theory of Jacques Lacan. The mirror stage is based on the belief that infants recognize themselves in a mirror (literal) or other symbolic contraption which induces apperception (the turning of oneself into an object that can be viewed by the child from outside themselves) from the age of about six months

The mirror stage is a phenomenon to which I assign a twofold value. In the first place, it has historical value as it marks a decisive turning-point in the mental development of the child. In the second place, it typifies an essential libidinal relationship with the body image. (Lacan, Some reflections on the Ego, 1953)

BubblesMirroring and “Sense Of Self”

What is it? – did I even understand that it was me? Or have conscious understanding of what my body was in space and time, in context of other objects and people – going through a pattern were my movements dictated the tone and the very nature of what I was doing in that moment – living in the moment going from one patterned place to another.

My Body, Movements & My Perceptual World

My body and face “alien” in its projection (and it’s projection back to me) movements from other didn’t connect that I had a body but when I was at pre-school my hyper-active movements around the little hut gave me a “sense of being” to some degree before I sat down again – sounds, jingles, colours, shapes and shine where the domineering force in a sense they were friends they gave me (at least in my world) a sense of connectivity and stimulation.

Friendships, Language & “Connecting”

My first “friends” where water and toilets – this was a sense of connecting with the outside but also a feeling it gave me on the inside I was aware of the love that my parents had for me that didn’t need to be extracted (it was a feeling of sensing) and that was a firm and positive basis of connectivity I had with others. So what helped?

  • Rough and tumble play with my Dad (helping me connect my own body and also perceive parts of my own and “recognise” my Dad by his facial features)
  • My allowing me to touch her hair (to “recognise” her)
  • Experience the world through touch – allowing me to touch, take my shoes and socks off in the back garden etc
  • Clipped telegraphic language

Mercurial Personality 

  1. Romantic attachment. Mercurial individuals must always be deeply involved in a romantic relationship with one person.
  2. Intensity. They experience a passionate, focused attachment in all their relationships. Nothing that goes on between them and other people is trivial, nothing taken lightly.
  3. Heart. They show what they feel. They are emotionally active and reactive. Mercurial types put their hearts into everything.
  4. Unconstraint. They are uninhibited, spontaneous, fun-loving, and undaunted by risk.
  5. Activity. Energy marks the Mercurial style. These individuals are lively, creative, busy, and engaging. They show initiative and can stir others to activity.
  6. Open mind. They are imaginative and curious, willing to experience and experiment with other cultures, roles, and value systems and to follow new paths.
  7. Alternate states. People with Mercurial style are skilled at distancing or distracting themselves from reality when it is painful or harsh.

Source: Oldham, John M., and Lois B. Morris. The New Personality Self-Portrait: Why You Think, Work, Love, and Act the Way You Do. Rev. ed. New York: Bantam, 1995.

How this “Personality Type” relates to me

Despite a lot of information processing and language issues with my autism profile I try to live life as a free spirit and appreciate others values and beliefs, sensitive to others realities and conscious of their thoughts and feelings and I like to help others to – this sound “odd” because what I have written above this but this is part of my personhood that was growing within me. I still have many of the developmental and processing issues stated management of both these aspects is key and of course very person-centred.

Negative Disordered Traits & Management of Them – Borderline Personality Disorder

In 2007 I had a nervous breakdown and BDP is the “extreme” and “disordered” variant of the mercurial personality

  • frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment

How I manage this 

Conceptualization of the subject – what is fact and what is assumption? What is real and what isn’t? What is my “gut” telling me? Being comfortable in your own skin is worthy and functional goal to achieve.

  • a pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation

How I manage this

Everybody is a human being and things happen in their lives as well as yours and over intensity (which in my case I wasn’t conscious of doing this) will not be liked, feel “too much” or “overwhelming for the other person”. No person is “black” or “white” in perception it is far more diverse for that.

  • identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self;

How I manage this

The journey of what is is self? How this describes me? Understanding that I am a person has always helped me with this aspect (even if I struggle with a senses of self knowing I am a human being is a good start)

  • impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating)

How I manage this

Why am I spending and over-eating? What is the core of the problem? Has something happened in my life? Is it a reaction to something in the past? Or does it have no root cause?

  • recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior

How I manage this

What has causes me to feel this way? What situation? (and/or situations?)

  • affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days)

How I manage this

Going with the flow this will end and dissolve, finding productive things to do with my time and don’t get “stuck” in this loop of anxiety

  • chronic feelings of emptiness

How I manage this

The feeling of lonesomeness is perceptual and could be to do with a lack of connectivity, lack of doing and being and also a need to be getting on with things in your life

  • inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights)

How I manage this

Don’t hold on to negative feeling like hate, anger, sadness they are a normal part of human life and one can move on from them with the right balance

How I manage this

Dissociation is on a spectrum, why has this happened? what are the root causes? How can you move on and manage this in the context of “now” and for the “future”?

Now In The Context Of My Autism (Processing Information)

Alexithymia -

Emotions can be over-whelming and and “under” processing of emotions in time can cause a “plug” or “blockage” meaning a situation can happen for me which may require (in-real time) a emotional response but doesn’t happen because I am not “there yet”. It has taken me days, months or years to process an singular or multiple event this emotional wave of raw emotions felt like an attack which lead to self harm (hitting my legs, arms and head) what has helped me is understanding that when this wave hits I can cope be staying calm. 

Visual Agnosias (Visual Perceptual Disorders) -

Not “seeing” with meaning meant there was no context to what was going on it was blobs, fragments, bits and pieces self and other where “alien” because there was “real” basis for it happening because I couldn’t home in what was what – what helped was my parents allowing me to explore my sensory world in way that gave it some sort of reality. Tinted lenses have greatly helped me in accessing visual information.

Meaning Deafness (Aphasia)

Strands of information that are too fast, long go into nothing-ness – I have no visual memory and cannot internalise words with a “visual picture” so elevated tone and gestures  to create a context that my mind is able to process with a high sense of clarity and meaning. Movement is very important to me.

Body Disconnection (Visual-Spatial Dysgnosia) 

My body is a “thing” that is around me it feels disjointed, awkward and clumsy so I have worked out ways of making it feel more real – I have pressure points so band and bracelets around my wrists, a tight jacket around the trunk of my body, a tie around my neck, and tight shoes for my fee. This gives me at least 4 points/areas of awareness and there can be more with my tinted glasses, headphones and tying my hair back.

Context From two angles – Personality & The “Pieces” of My Autism 

Healthy management of my personality to keep the volume “normal” and accessing the pieces of my autism that need addressing has helped with being a more happy and content person.

Friendships & Boundaries 

For many years this lack of management, processing confusion, context blindness and personality issues have created issues but recently through being introduced to more positive, productive friendships which are balanced, ordered and healthy this has given me a fresh new perspective of what “other” is.

  • Boundaries That Are Healthy – considering and empathising is a two way process 
  • When Problems Happen – take a step back, being there comes in many different forms
  • Sensing “Good” Vibes – your gut is important and is telling you a lot without any words at times

Self and Other – Pattern, Theme & Feel (D.Williams)

I live in world were logical and cognitive reasoning is not king (I have an autie way of processing not an aspie) it is through sensory based reasoning, feeling, experiencing through touch, movement, sound etc. This is the world I still live in and by relying on my system of sensing it has helped me understand things before I could/can verbalise them. I will hopefully create little bridges of connectivity for the future. :-)

Paul Isaacs Adult With Autism 2014


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What A World Before “Typical” Interpretation Means To Me

Note – This is from a personal and developmental perspective 

I have been writing for many many months now about my personhood and my developmental disability and how they interact – interjecting, unraveling and pin-pointing different aspects of it hopefully helping anybody who connects with it. I world before meaning lets start with that.

Sensory ExplorerWhat Is Meaning?

Visual, Language Processing & Auditory Information

That means for me when sounds what ever they are (words or in the environment) have limited and/or no origin and the origins are not there in an instant nor is the the association so it has to be found in a different way.

For me things have to be touched in order to have meaning (my visual field is far too fragmented to get make that sort of instant connection) experienced through tactile association. Information and words have to be brought to life through gesture, elevated and exaggerated tone, movement and objects of reference like sculpting a piece of art giving meaning and connectivity.

They Way I Process

I don’t live in a world of logic, practical semantics or pragmatics nor do I work out the world that way. I create but I don’t have a vast cognitive landscape things for me have to be more refined.  My emotions come more through my movements more than my words (although I can use both poetry to extract) I like things that don’t require any complicated reasoning or explanation.

Sensory Explorer 2Such as 

  • The roughness of bark
  • The texture of moss
  • The feeling of swimming colours
  • The movement of the water
  • Sounds and words that don’t have an origin but sound and feel nice
  • Sculpting faces
  • Patterning movements

Autism & Asperger’s Profiles

I have Autism and knowing to difference between an Autism profile and a Asperger’s is needed in order to understand the mechanics but never over invest or over define a person by their condition always remember personhood is something people all share. If people keep thinking and educating that autism has one profile, one look and one method of using interventions then we need to listen and be more inclusive. :-)

Paul Isaacs Adult with Autism 2014


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Emotions, Words and Speech Production In The Context Of Autism

Paul 1996 - 7 2Note – This is from a personal perspective 

The Landscape of Words

Speaking and going on and on for the one’s sake not knowing the beginning were it started nor where it ended or  were it should end the internal cluttering coming from within me like a tidal wave of phonics being spurted out in a “scatter gun” approach the receptive sounds coming into my consciousness  – I had a speech and language delay (I had no coherent words in my head until I was 7/8 years old) and the words are still whirling trying to pin point meaning, context, relevance, need, want, substance, creativity, what the other person wants, what I want it doesn’t always fit it at times is  lack of coherence a kaleidoscope of feelings with no visual basis or formation. I will always try and have a go and feel by trying it is giving me more opportunities  to integrate and connect.

Logorrhea

In psychology, logorrhea or logorrhoea (from Ancient Greek λόγος logos and ῥέω rheo “to flow”) is a communication disorder, expressed by excessive wordiness with minor or sometimes incoherent talkativeness.

Sometimes I talk and talk but it doesn’t mean I understand or connect with what I am saying (the expressive function) and also the I don’t always process what the other person is saying (receptive function) this is in context is to do with with aphasia and the “cluttering” of language based auditory information. This is reflected in the content and the way in which I am expressing the information at the time.

Thought Disorder

In psychiatry, thought disorder (TD) or formal thought disorder (FTD) refers to disorganized thinking as evidenced by disorganized speech. Specific thought disorders include derailment, poverty of speech, tangentiality, illogicality, perseveration, neologism, and thought blocking.

Derailment

In psychiatry, derailment (also loosening of association, asyndesis, asyndetic thinking, knight’s move thinking, or entgleisen) is a thought disorder characterized by discourse consisting of a sequence of unrelated or only remotely related ideas. The frame of reference often changes from one sentence to the next.

In the context of how I process words and my own emotions which is a condition called alexithymia (I connect with gesture, movement, tactile feeling, textures and tastes) my thoughts are buried beneath many hidden levels this can lead to thoughts ebbing and flowing from within me with multiple things being said from different areas. The irregular retrieval means that I always trying to find words for emotions and the emotions come first so it happens in reverse causing the issues stated above also.

Conclusion 

I will continue to try and find the things within me that connect with being human which make me feel inclusive, connected and integrated with the world around me using the tools i have learned to the best of my abilities. :-) Poetry from a personal perspective has helped me with these processes of word formation and emotions. :-)

Paul Isaacs Adult with Autism 2014


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Being Balanced When Talking About Autism

“To be honest about something is the best way when I talk about autism in context I don’t glamorise nor do I demonise I stay moderate and try to stay real, true and balanced about this very vast subject. I speak from my own perspective and don’t speak for ALL (only my profile) and learn from others profiles that’s how one learns.”

Paul Isaacs Adult With Autism 2014


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Living In Half A World – Hemispatial Neglect In The Context Of Autism

Note this is from a personal perspective of having this clustering syndrome 

It was interesting looking at a video I was presenting at an Tony Attwood -Autism Oxford UK earlier this year being “blind” to my right side is certainly an odd/interesting life. :-)

Definition of Hemispatial Neglect 

Hemispatial neglect, also called hemiagnosia, hemineglect, unilateral neglect, spatial neglect, contralateral neglect,unilateral visual inattentionhemi-inattention, neglect syndrome or contralateral hemispatialagnosia is a neuropsychological condition in which, after damage to one hemisphere of the brain is sustained, a deficit in attention to and awareness of one side of space is observed. It is defined by the inability of a person to process and perceive stimuli on one side of the body or environment that is not due to a lack of sensation. Hemispatial neglect is very commonly contralateral to the damaged hemisphere, but instances of ipsilesional neglect (on the same side as the lesion) have been reported.

Physical Observations

10338674_881821881831690_7870309102355592004_o (1)

The factors that can be picked up is when I speak the right side of my mouth doesn’t rise and fall (giving it a crooked appearance) this also can happen when I smile as well as the eyebrow on the right side not rising and muscles looking lax and frozen.

If look at the picture to your left (left and right are reversed) you can see the difference in brain activity.

Note – the mouth and eyebrow on the side I am “connected with”

Fruit Salad Analogy Copyright D.Williams

Fruit Salad Analogy Copyright D.Williams

Left Hemisphere Brain Injury

Part of my Autism Fruit Salad is brain injury this was no doubt in the womb and compacted by complications such as fetal distress, silent stroke, cerebral hypoxia and placental abruption this would also explain the fact that I am blind to the the right side of my body this also includes

What has helped?

  • Cycling and Riding Bicycles
  • Walking on Different Terrains
  • Swimming
  • Drawing & Creative Activities
  • Hand Writing
  • Tinted Lenses
  • Positive Attitude

Conclusion 

Integration of the the neglected hemisphere could certainly be a start and could help not only with learning and experiencing new skills but also assist in good mental health also. (of course strategies will be very much person-centred).

Paul Isaacs Adult with Autism 2014

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