Paul Isaacs' Blog

Autism from the inside


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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.

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Summerslam 1997 Copyright World Wrestling Entertainment 

MEMORIES

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.

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King of the Ring 1998 Copyright World Wrestling Entertainment 

PASSION AND COMMITMENT

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.🙂

GIVING SOMETHING BACK 

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

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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.

VOICE & PATTERNS OF MOVEMENT 

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).#

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SOCIAL MEDIA 

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

Bubbles

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.

Contextualisation

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

 

OVERVIEW

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.

PLOT

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.

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SPECIAL EFFECTS

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.

CONCLUSION

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


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Living Through The Haze: 2nd Edition

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When I wrote Living Through Haze in 2012 it was a journey of finding out why I ticked the way I did and what that meant to me it was year in the making and I thankful for it being published to help other son the spectrum and professionals.

I was also glad that I got a foreword by Dr. Michael Layton the psychiatrist who diagnosed me in 2010 with keen introspection he is in many ways the opening of the book a precursor to the journey.

Now in 2016 I feel I have gained a lot of new worldly experiences and wanted to update part of my book which I felt needed to be. With the kind help of Tracy Kilner who is on the autism spectrum she assisted in the editing process with multicaulis attention to grammar, punctuation and  sentence formation.

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The next was an Afterword by Dr. Manuel Casanova who reviewed the 1st Edition of my book  he clearly illustrates what can learned from a person’s experiences and how that can be a foundation for the future, he also in no holds barred fashion clearly demonstrates the emotional  and mental health difficulties that have happened due to circumstances difficulties during my life.

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The next person is James Billett he diagnosed me in 2012 with visual perceptual disorders and gives a formal introduction to the book using statistics and reflecting on what can be learned from the reading this book.

Other elements included additional chapters and the expansion of the “autism fruit salad” section of my book.

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The final person who I would like thank in the process of this book is Donna Williams (Polly Samuel) as you know I have written many blogs, articles and presentations in conjunction with her extensive work in the field of autism. I would not know anything about he mechanics of my autism with her kindly help during the early 2010s. I would not be able to speaker in such away about my autism or autism in general without help. I value her professional input, caring nature and friendship.

My family and friends have always been there during times of need and I value and cherish their company and being the rocks that they are.

LIVING THROUGH THE HAZE 2ND EDITION PAPERBACK 

LIVING THROUGH THE HAZE 2nd E-BOOK 

Paul Isaacs 2016


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Dr Who – Power of the Daleks – DVD Review

 

This DVD is a treat BBC Animation team have wonderfully restored via animation The Power of the Daleks which Patrick Troughton’s first serial as the Doctor.

PLOT

The plot starts off at the end of The Tenth Planet a mysterious new figure emerges from the floor looking rather different, both the companions are confused and shocked by this new person who doesn’t look nor act like “their doctor”. The have landed on a planet called Vulcan with an earth space colony settlement already established there.

I have to say the plot is well crafted, eerie, ambitious, dark and full of melancholy with a tremendous amount of deep clever exposition within the story the new doctor, the whodunnit style back story, the power conflicts between primary characters and the introduction of  daleks that are far more devious, deceptive and clever  than in previous serials this is a really mature and adult which is both refreshing and well-suited.

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ANIMATION & PICTURE 

The animation is superb it is filmed in a 16:9 frame (rather than the conventional 4:3 of the time). I view this on HD upscaled 1080p 60 frames per second.  The intros are retained in film and the credits faithfully restored. The animation itself is shot in black and white with a mixture of 2D and 3D animation which is faithful to the story, the sets and the actors who appeared in them.

AUDIO

The audio (from the original serial) matches perfectly with animation all the set and character idiosyncrasies are perfectly retained. It is a clear a lot of love and care had gone into the recreation and it shows. I choose the 5.1 downmix and it has a lot of activity, detail and depth with good bass and a cinematic feel.

CONCLUSION

With an amazing video and audio display and a hefty lot of extras this is truly and must buy for any Doctor Who fan or science-fiction buff. This shows off what the BBC restoration team can do for future “lost episodes” in the future.

Paul Isaacs 2016