Paul Isaacs' Blog

Autism from the inside

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Autism: A Very Sensory Christmas



Note: This is from a personal perspective

One of the amusing observations from my parents was my indifference to Christmas in the my early infant years, this would be noted as they would wait eagerly excited on the day while I would still be fast asleep in my bedroom coming down later in the day.


Another observation was my facial indifference to the event at hand the lack of excitement as each present was opened. My Mum can remember one year they bought me a bike which was perched on the fireplace (not lit of course) she seemed bemused that I didn’t go to the biggest first opening the presents scattered around the tree, when it came to the bike being opened she can remember me staring indifferently at the bike with no seemingly no acknowledgement of what it was or the significance of what it meant.

Looking a back at these two observations I can see many different aspects of what was going on from the inside and how observationally they caused confusion with my parents.


One of the conditions I have noted about is simultagnosia and seeing things in bits along side aphasia and language processing issues these hidden blockages no doubt would have an impact on how I physically expressed my emotions to the outside world, be it in this case contextually joy, excitement and love.

All these things I feel and felt but because of visual perceptual issues, language processing, alexithymia and information processing delays these were not seen by my parents however other aspects of Christmas did excite me such as the colourful wrapping paper, glittered tree decorations and the twinkling lights but it was much more instant for me to access how I felt about a present would take longer so time would be needed. As the years progressed so did my level of understanding of what was going on.

I was happy at Christmas. 🙂

Paul Isaacs 2016

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Autism As A Fruit Salad By Donna Williams Book Review


From 1995-2011 I worked with over 1000 people diagnosed on the autism spectrum. In order to best address the needs of children and adults with autism I needed to fathom what was being called or presumed ‘their autism’ and work out the underlying mechanics of each of these things.

The Autism As A Fruit Salad is a 37 page, interactive, comprehensive alphabetical 101.  The E-book form comes complete with hyperlinks on the vast collection of over 200 conditions that in combinations can collectively present as ‘autism’ or ‘parts of one’s autism’ (The signed paperback format doesn’t have the hyperlinks). In either format, Autism As A Fruit Salad should equip those living with and working with autism to move beyond the static 2D model of autism to a dynamic 3D model that goes beyond one-size-fits-all-approaches and gives you tools to tailor approaches to each person.


* Anyone wanting to understand what is involved any particular person’s ‘autism fruit salad’
* Parents, case managers, behaviour intervention staff, troubleshooters and people with autism looking to gain a clearer sense of what it actually presenting as ‘the autism


A comprehensive and rounded view of what “autism” is Donna Williams has opened up many people’s perspectives with her lectures, blogs and books around the subject of “autism” in many ways this is a sister book/sequel to her handbooks Autism: An Inside Out Approach (1996) & The Jumbled Jigsaw (2005).

It is structured in an easy read listed fashion with hyperlinks for each piece it also supplies hints and tips for people who want to find out their “pieces” too, the E-book edition supplies the reader with hyperlinks giving a personal and interactive style to the reader making accessible guideposts.

Donna supplies deep introspection as always in her knowledge and the essence of giving something back in many ways she build up a plethora of experience both personal, educational and practical in her years as a consultant this book  condenses it for the reader making it accessible for young and old, novice and veteran I highly recommend this book.

Paul Isaacs 2016


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Mick Foley – American Wrestler Retrospective

When I think of wrestling in the USA I tend to think of at least three The Undertaker, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Mick Foley.

I started watching wrestling via VHS in the mid-nineties when a friend of my Father lent him videos of old WWF/E pay per view events this included The Royal Rumble, King of the Ring,  Wrestlemania and Summerslam as amongst others. Then a friend of mine recorded them on VHS and lent me house shows too.

Image result for mankind entrance summerslam 1997

Summerslam 1997 Copyright World Wrestling Entertainment 


One of my earliest memories of Mick Foley was in his Mankind persona for the first match of Summerslam 1997 in which he had a rivalry with the King of the Ring contest winner Hunter Hearst Helmsley. As this strange character staggered out of the mist with melancholic music (fitting the characters personality) he had long hair and wore a tightly bound leather mask, it was a fun match to watch.

I was was in awe of this character slammed into the a cage but never seeming to give up. He changed personas towards the end of the match, with symbolic removal of the leather mask and the change of character Dude Love appeared and dropped the show stopping elbow drop for the win.

I eagerly looked forward to seeing this character again with his ever changing personas such as Cactus Jack his gritty and often humorous promos in interviews and to  the eager crowds. I liked  watching and his shoot from hip style of wrestling.

Image result for mankind king of the ring 1998

King of the Ring 1998 Copyright World Wrestling Entertainment 


He was a risk taker and his body has taken his toll from many chairs shots, insane bumps and falls (notably the 1998 Hell in a Cell match) which he opened up about in the recent WWE documentary about his in-ring career but is was for the fans and he always wanted to give a his all for them. He had a short career in the WWF/E but a highly memorable and progressive one (Wrestling in other promotions WCW, SMW NJPW and ECW)  with unforgettable matches and rivalries with The Undertaker, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock . His story and progression is just as interesting as the things I have highlighted above his autobiography  with his rags to riches rise to the big time slowly going up the ranks, his future wife and his love for all things Christmas. 🙂


He also seems a conscientious and caring with not an ego to boot, who is warm friendly and approachable to fans and other professionals and likes giving his time to charities and organisations. He is an successful writer and author who shows great introspection and detail for the business he has worked in for many years.

Paul Isaacs 2016



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Autism, Faceblindness & Social Media



Note this is from a personal perspective

I got a good question from a Dean Beadle a international speaker on the autism spectrum with regards to faceblindness and the use of social media.


The way in which I recognise people I have documented in various other blogs with regards to “seeing” faces or rather not and that is through patterns of movement (the way in which the person moves their body around the enviroment) and the person’s voices. Context helps through understanding (their full full name, significance of were I know them from).#



When it comes to social media it is best for people to message to help me remember where they came from. I do look for full names (that is a good start) and other contextual and associative information, although at times I have gotten it wrong in terms of sending the friend request to the wrong person it is a matter of trial and error for me. 🙂

Paul Isaacs 2016


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Autism, Language Processing, Understanding, Expression, Retrieval & Echolalia


Finding words can be difficult in my younger years I had trouble with many aspects of language and what is was meant for – this can be seen in my early developmental history which shows that I had problems with both language processing, use of and retrieval.

Body and Brain

The body and brain are connected so if the “words” I found where gone this could well be to do with the brain and the body not “connecting” at the right time of expression this meant that either I would not speak at all (because of the movement of my tongue, jaw and mouth) or the words “disappeared” rendering me to say “rubbish” in the place of something which was meaningful to the person and/or peoples in questions.

The “Language Bottleneck”

As I got older developmentally there were still delays in speech input and output this meant that by the time I was 7/8 years old language output was that of a 3 three old both in content, trajectory and conversation there would also be times of stiltedness and apparent awkwardness in expression and of course frustration that the “blah” was not making sense and that sometimes my “blah” that came out it was like two ships in the night looking for each other but completely missing each other in terms of understanding, this was not either parties fault but the nature of the “language bottleneck” which meant I had many words “stored” and ready to say but when it come to expression could not get them out in their enteritis  the bottle neck could also be put into reverse when people “spoke” to me it was only a small bandwidth in which I could retrieve meaning and when I did that meant the process of expression had to start all over again.

Pronouns “Us”, “We”, “You”, “Me”

Even at nearly thirty I can get stuck on what these mean in time and context which they are meant I have problems with even the most basic an obvious tasks such as “can you put the oven on” this is being directed at me but I not processing the significance of what that means to me for a few seconds my Mum got my attention by saying “Paul can you put the oven on” this had a level of significance, yesterday evening I was watching a film my Mum said “I think she was dreaming” – I turned to Mum and said “who and what” (confusing the matters farther) she then directed me to the film I was watching the character in question.

Meaning Deafness

When my language systems “shutdown” I words begin to drop so a sentence could look like this “…….could………outside…………sho………an……….pi……..eys………….plea……….” this could go into sounds that means the words have reverted back developmentally to their place of origin before “meaning and contextual language was given” – when this happens I can echo surface information back at the person so that gives the illusion of “self” and “other” processing if you where to fine tune your observations you would realise at this point that is not happening and it reverts back to the “bottleneck”scenerio above.


Helping me contextualise comes in

  1. Getting my attention (you are speaking to ME)
  2. Structure, content, context
  3. Gesture, tone (painting a picture)
  4. Objects of reference (mentalising)


Paul Isaacs 2016

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Autism, Visual Distortion & Image Break-up

There are many people on the spectrum such as Temple Grandin that have strong visual memories not only for fact retrieval but in her case she has used her visual way processing to help her with her career in animal slaughter.

Some people on the autism have problems with not only processing visuals in “real-time” but also accessing it, contextualising it and having what I call “image retrieval” this means the person in question may not only have problems processing and internalising what is around them (visually) they may well have issues with image retrieval this means they may not connect the image with word because they have no idea what the image is so there is no were for the “word” to or they may have an issue once they have processed the image to give it the correct word that is associated with it. For me words have to be associated with a “feeling” not emotional specifically but how the object for example “felt” as I am typing this will remember the typewriter by the “texture” of the keys that my fingers are touching.

This may sound and look odd for the onlooker and rightfully so – but is the person has so many sensory “blockages” touch in the context of “meaning” may well be one of the only ways in which they can access the “world” in way which is not only comforting (for some) but meaningful its relevance.

This may well not be just restricted to touch and feeling it may well also include licking, sniffing, mouthing too to objects, people and the physically surroundings. Visual break-up may look like the child is blind which in my case my Mum thought I was which would indicate I was showing behaviours of a blind person. (as well as a deaf person because of auditory processing).

Paul Isaacs 2016

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Ghostbusters (1984) – Film Review



It has seen become a pop-icon cult movie with an amazing cast, a witty script, inventive story, clever special effects and a endearing team of “Ghostbusters” who clear New York of all things that go bump in the night.


Four people in the New York area decide to take on the spectres that are plaguing the city with the team now in a disused fire station and more and more calls coming in to deal with increasing paranormal activity, it seems to be coming from the source of one building that is building up dark energy to be bestowed on the world. I guess some folks better call somebody?

With it clever use of slapstick comedy, romantic exposition, giddy camera work and expansive sets and early computer generated imagery. One thing I can say about Ghostbusters is that holds up. The characterisation is ongoing from the onset introducing, the speed and pace of the movie is tight and finale is by all accounts a real showstopper! Even the signature theme tune is as infectiously resonant as the movie itself.

Image result for ghostbuster blu ray scenes


I viewed this movie in HD (1080p 24fps)  on Ghostbusters Blu-ray 4K 1984 The picture is amazing compared to the previous blu-ray release and 15th anniversary DVD releases also. The colours have tremendous depth and clarity with extra detail being shown in the special-effects sequences have never been presented better showing off the amazing set pieces, stop-motion effects, puppetry, miniatures and early CGI in glorious HD. The sound is also a great improvement over previous release with greater surround, clarity and bass giving a fuller, broader audio experience.


A classic in every sense of the word Ghostbusters in one of those movies that has just been waiting for the HD format to pop along and it doesn’t disappoint  with a clear upgrade in picture and sound along with a host of extras this is an amazing release.  Highly Recommended