Paul Isaacs' Blog

Autism from the inside

Personhood First – Why I’m A Person with Autism

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OVERVIEW

I was born Paul and what does that mean? I was diagnosed with Autism in 2010, one of the things my parents advised me to do was to still see myself as a  human being not letting myself be defined by the diagnosis as if this had somehow changed my identity- It didn’t I am and always was “Paul” and that is how I want to be referred  to. If I was to define myself completely as “Autism” I would have no room for a healthy sense of self. For parents of the spectrum and people on the spectrum please embrace your personhood and what people like about you and in turn what you like about others. 🙂 Getting the balance right is so crucial.

Personality Traits 

  • Eccentric
  • Idiosyncratic
  • Easy -Going
  • Silly
  • Giving

My Likes

  • Dr Who
  • Films
  • Music
  • Cartoons

These things are to do with me my personality traits and likes – find out what the person with Autism likes, be it your friend, family member or otherwise remind them that they are a PERSON not just a set of traits and symptoms – of course their sensory and communication profile must be taken into account in a way of building  bridges for the person that is both meaningful and productive but at the same time acknowledge their own unique personhood which is what makes them shine. 🙂

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

One thought on “Personhood First – Why I’m A Person with Autism

  1. Pingback: The“Autistic Identity” Phenomena | Paul Isaacs' Blog

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