Paul Isaacs' Blog

Autism from the inside


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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

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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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Phoebe Caldwell – Intensive Interaction And Diverse Communication Profiles Within Autism

As a person on the spectrum I am a firm believer that whenever you are on the the spectrum you are on the spectrum you have a right to have a meaningful and productive life.

Phoebe Caldwell Copyright P.Caldwell

         Phoebe Caldwell 

Phoebe Caldwell

Tapping into the communication profile of the person is key and she looks at all aspects of the profile

  • Sensory Integration Disorder
  • Receptive and Expressive Language (Aphasia)
  • Telegraphic Speech
  • Gestural Language
  • Rhythm, Pitch and Voice Modulation
  • Touch (if a preference)
  • Exposure Anxiety & Emotional Regulation
  • Neurological Pain
  • Body Agnosias
  • Person’s Environment

Communication – Thinking Of The Person’s Sensory Perceptions 

Phoebe looks into the diversity of these communication issues from person to person as the brain’s of these person’s has different things going on, making connections in ways of relevance to that person, ways of meaning to that person it brings results of happiness, lowering anxiety and integration which is both positive and hopeful. I believe that rigid “models of communication” that sold as the way of communicating with a person with autism are wrong because it’s all down to the uniqueness of the person’s profile in other words there is no one way.

Pattern, Theme & Feel – Donna Williams

A world before typical interpretive language could mean that person has created their own language to try and integrate with the world around them, I know my early years I did and it was seen as “gibberish”, “mutterings” but I was trying in a world of visual and auditory distortion to reach out.

  • ›“Eeeeee!!!” is “happy” which includes clapping and jumpingBubbles
    Low sounds “ugggg!!!” – Is Unhappy
  • And/or “clicking” sounds with my tongue – Represents Anxiety
    Head hitting – Processing problems
  • Chest thumping – I would like come back to this world please
    Head banging – I can’t cope I need some help
  • Sniffing, Licking, Tapping, Mouthing, Rubbing Surroundings – What are you?
  • Sculpting Faces – Who are you?
  • Tilting Head – I Remember You! And I like your company

I still find language difficult but I try my best – a lot what Phoebe does in terms of gestural language and telegraphic speech are from a personal perspective with beneficial for me to get meaning.

Conclusion 

Phoebe has an excellent presentation style and projects with passion her over 40 years experience with working with adults on the autism spectrum, she sees the people she works with as people and person’s first which is refreshing to hear and it shows in her work and the people she has helped of the many years.

Paul Isaacs Adult with Autism 2014

PHOEBE’S WEBSITE

INTENSIVE INTERACTION


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Harold Doherty Autism Advocate & Parent – Breaking Stereotypes and Keeping Real About The Realities Of Autism

I had the privilege of reading one of most thought provoking and very real posts on a blog by a Father with a son with classic autism – The father’s name is Harold Doherty and his son’s name is Conor.

Keeping it Real 

That is what I liked about Harold’s posts they are honest, sincere, direct and give true honesty and humility about the realities facing many people on the autism spectrum, he breaks down stereotypes, assumptions and the glamorisations within what autism is  and what it means for him and his son.

Fruit Salad Analogy Copyright D.Williams

Fruit Salad Analogy Copyright D.Williams

Autism cannot be represented by one person

No it cannot everybody on the autism spectrum has a diverse set of conditions and syndromes (a clustering if you will) this means that autism in itself is diverse – what makes up a person’s autism? What are the mechanic’s? Or as Donna Williams what is the “fruit salad”?

The Forgotten

Many people on the autism spectrum who have classic autism are forgotten so there is an imbalance in both the media, books and  other forms of media out there – Harold not only states this but backs it up with statistics and the realities of this for people with classic autism and their family members, this is surely not fair and services should be tailored and person-centred for people’s very specific needs.

Autism – Disorder or Difference?

What I would hope is that some day, academics and practitioners who have promoted the careers and perspectives of high functioning autistic persons and trivialized the challenges faced by those who suffer from severe autism disorders will start showing some integrity and professional responsibility whether they live in Montreal, Canada, New York, USA or Sydney, Australia. What I hope is that all academics and professionals will stop trivializing the severe challenges faced by so many with autism disorders and tell the world the whole truth about autism DISORDERS.

Harold also gives very real account of why he calls Autism a disorder – personally I agree with him and there is responsibility for people to be told the truth about such things, this clearly isn’t out militancy it  is out of education, compassion and need for more awareness.

My Autism Profile

My Autism profile as I have stated in many posts in complex due to brain injury and very nature of my sensory perceptual agnosias, language processing issues and a “mild” learning disability and so forth I have no problem with the word disorder, nor the word disability it is a fact and knowing the truth however hard it;s worth it. I can only educate by saying this is my profile and that I don’t represent everybody on the spectrum that would be unfair and grossly inaccurate.

Conclusion

I say keep going Harold, keep educating, spreading the word and keeping it real it will be a huge benefit to everyone the advocacy you are doing.

Paul Isaacs  Adult with Autism 2014

Links

HAROLD’S BLOG

HAROLD’S TWITTER PAGE

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