Paul Isaacs' Blog

Autism from the inside

“Whereness” of Myself – Visuospatial Dysgnosia (Body Blindness) & Autism

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SAM_0552OVERVIEW

VISUOSPATIAL DYSGNOSIA

The syndrome rarely presents itself the same way in every patient. Some symptoms that occur may be:

  • Constructional apraxia: difficulty in constructing: drawing, copying, designs, copying 3D models
  • Topographical disorientation: difficulty finding one’s way in the environment
  • Optic ataxia: deficit in visually guided reaching
  • Ocular motor apraxia: inability to direct gaze, a breakdown (failure) in starting (initiating) fast eye movements
  • Dressing apraxia: difficulty in dressing usually related to inability to orient clothing spatially, and to a disrupted awareness of body parts and the position of the body and its parts in relation to themselves and objects in the environment
  • Right-left confusion: difficulty in distinguishing the difference between the directions left and right

This is certainly true for me I have a limited awareness of my body and as a result have slammed my feet down so hard over the years (through not knowing pressure length of legs etc) that I I have a condition called Hallux rigidus  symptoms of this started at around 12 years old.

So what has helped me?  From personal Experiences

  • Wearing tight clothes around my waist (getting an awareness of the “trunk of my body”)
  • Wearing ties, buttoned shirts (awareness of my neck and shoulders)
  • Having my hair long and in a pony tail/bun (getting a sense of my head)
  • Having shoes which had pressure on my feet (giving a sense of awareness to them)
  • These points above help with internal sensory integration
  • Tinted Lenses help me move through an environment much better (mapping visuals in light and cluttered stimuli)
  • My parents helped me with dressing until the ages of 10, then helped me with coordinating and choices till age 16
  • Semantic sensory compensation touching to percieve meaning (cannot visually track)
  • Left – Right confusion is still an issue but can be helped with a verbal prompt

 

Paul Isaacs 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

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