Paul Isaacs' Blog

Autism from the inside

Autism, Visual Agnosias, No Visual Memory & How I Navigate The World

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IMAG0102OVERVIEW

Part of my Autism “Fruit Salad” I have Visual Agnosias and no visual memory this means I “experience” and “see” visual surroundings in a different way, it took me until 2010 to finally comprehend this.

So what could be seen by a person with Autism who have Visual Agnosias within their Autism “Fruit Salad?” Here is a list of tips.

Note I hope this helps others – remember all people on the autism spectrum are different and experience agnosias differently

1. Eye darting (looking out of the corner of the eye) using sensory compensation to understand their visual surroundings better.
2. Hand flapping in front of eyes could be to try to understand and “decode” what is in front of them.
3. Licking, Sniffing, Mouthing, Touching and Sculpting surroundings This could well be “sensory compensation” again to gain “semantics” of something they need to externalize and “feel” things to gain meaning connectivity.
4. Touching Faces, Sniffing Arms They may have severe Faceblindness and need to do this understand who you are.
5. Pacing, Running, Moving in rooms They may need to gauge the “dead space” in room by filling it with their own movements to gauge how large the room is where does it end etc, they not know it the same room until they have touched parts of for example.
By Paul Isaacs Adult with Autism 2014

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Author: Paul Isaacs

Paul was branded as a “naughty & difficult child” at school. He was classically autistic and non-verbal due to speech articulation difficulties. He had complex sensory issues and appeared both deaf and blind. He gained functional speech around the age of 7 or 8 years old. He went through the mainstream school system with no additional help or recognition of his autism. Consequently, he did not achieve his academic or his social potential and had very low self-esteem. At age 11, Paul was referred to the children’s mental health service with childhood depression where he was regarded as “developmentally underage” and having speech problems. As an adult, Paul had a string of unsuccessful jobs, and his mental health suffered. He developed both Borderline and Schizotypal Personality Disorders in early 2007. He was referred to mental health services and misdiagnosed with “Asperger traits with a complex personality”, which did not satisfy Paul or his family. A local autism organisation put Paul in touch with an experienced psychiatrist, who diagnosed him with Autism at 24 years old. In 2012 Paul was also diagnosed with Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome by an Irlen Consultant who confirmed that he also had face, object and meaning blindness – conditions which Paul describes eloquently in his speeches and training sessions. He also has dyslexia, dyscalculia and also a dissociative disorder. Having started working as an local autism organisation as a public speaker in 2010, Paul joined their mission to promote autism awareness. His hope is that others will not have to suffer as he did. Now also a core member of our Training Team, Paul continues to enhance true understanding of autism at every opportunity. Paul has released and published 5 books on the subject of autism published by Chipmunka publishing and has contributed to other books too. Having overcome many challenges to achieve the success that he now enjoys, Paul’s message is that Autism is a complex mix of ability and disability. He firmly believes that every Autistic person should have the opportunity to reach their potential and be regarded as a valued member of society. Apart from autism related blogs Paul also write about movies, fashion, art and anything that is of interest. As of August 2015 Paul now works as a freelance speaker, training and consultant in and around the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire area. If you are interested please contact him via email at staypuft12@yahoo.co.uk

5 thoughts on “Autism, Visual Agnosias, No Visual Memory & How I Navigate The World

  1. Hi Paul,

    About 3 years ago my daughter who is a psychology graduate major from Columbia diagnosed me as being autistic. I also have many other learning disabilities such as dyslexia and short term memory among other things. I think I also have Visual Agnosias which I thought was part of my short term memory problem. My educational experience was like yours except my experience extended through college. When I was growing up not much was known about autism. I am now almost 70 and have never been formally diagnosed or treated for any of my problems. I have written quite a bit about my experiences as an autistic person on my blog. I was however quite successful in my career as an engineer.

    I’ll spend more time reading about you in your blog but I don’t know any adult autistic people I can relate to. It is heartening to read about other adults with autism. Much emphasis is placed upon children but little about them after they grow to adulthood. Thanks for writing about your experiences. I think I still have much to learn about this subject.

    • Hi Thank you for sharing your insights that is refreshing and informative to read about your life. 🙂 I hope that others will follow your blog also.

      Kindest regards

      Paul

  2. Hmm it appears like your blog ate my first comment (it was
    extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.
    I too am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to everything.
    Do you have any tips and hints for beginner blog writers? I’d
    really appreciate it.

    • Dear RX 8

      I have learned a lot from my Pal Donna Williams who has been blogging since 2006, she says to pace yourself, take time, pick different topics, don’t do information overload (loads of blogs in one hit, something I made the mistake in doing) and be true to yourself. 🙂 Kindest regards Paul

  3. Interesting story, which just goes to show how many changes are possible.
    A little tip: you should change the link to Wikipedia so it opens in a new window.

    I find your picture intruiging, reminds me of the paintings my father did when he was still alive: http://goo.gl/cSWsZu

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