Paul Isaacs' Blog

Autism from the inside

Prosopagnosia, Simultagnosia, Semantic Agnosia And How I Remember People on the Autism Spectrum



Note – This is a personal perspective of visual agnosias

I was recently at the National Autistic Society Awards 2014, and mapping and remember people can be difficult because I cannot process faces, objects, the tints help me walk into and process many visuals in “real-time” and I have no visual memory, I still need to touch to perceive because of semantic agnosia.

I don’t recognise people by their faces (prosopagnosia) but with the tints help with visual coherence and generalising and defragmenting my visual environment  and also eye contact  so I recognise people firstly by –

  • Their voices and I recognised one of the speakers at the event by their voice
  • The next person I recognised the person by patterns of movement
  • The next person coming up to me a telling me their name
  • The next my manager telling  me the person’s name and thus making the connection
  • The next person also by their patterns of movement
  • The next person by their name tag


Paul Isaacs 2014


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

3 thoughts on “Prosopagnosia, Simultagnosia, Semantic Agnosia And How I Remember People on the Autism Spectrum

  1. Pingback: If I Wasn’t A Person First Then What Would I be? | Paul Isaacs' Blog

  2. Pingback: Autism: A Very Sensory Christmas | Paul Isaacs' Blog

  3. Pingback: Autism and Asperger’s Different Trajectories and Different Presentations? | Paul Isaacs' Blog

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