Paul Isaacs' Blog

Autism from the inside

Supermarkets – Autism, Sensory Perceptual Disorders & Sensory Issues

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Street Scene PixeledOVERVIEW

Note – This is a personal perspective of how I experiences Supermarkets 

There are many ways in and strategies which I have used to navigate a supermarket over the years when I was a child I never knew what this “big colourful space” was that my parents used to take me to, I had no concept or connection with what it was as it was a bunch of fragmented images (that I would like or hate or get sensory “highs” from) noises that I couldn’t decipher and would like or dislike, kinesthetic sensory experiences were a way of connecting with the environment and experiencing the products in this fashion was very useful for me as it was building a bridge of connectivity.

So here is what helps me –

HEADPHONES

This helps reduce noise input not only do I have Verbal Auditory Agnosia/Aphasia (meaning deafness) I also have an Auditory Hypersensitivity which is greatly helped due to headphones – (imagine hearing every single sound all at once at equal volume) it helps me connect better with my surroundings and focus on the tasks of buying the products I can also get stuck on “words” and “sounds” that I hear which is also helped by the headphones.

TINTED LENSES

These help and continue to help with processing visuals in light as I have Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome/Light Sensitivity they help with reducing light “over” visual information, I also have Visual AgnosiasProsopagnosia, Simultagnosia, Semantic Agnosia (seeing things in bits, without “meaning”  with a lack of depth 2D) this can cause problem with navigating surroundings. Although I still have  these agnosias and don not have a “visual memory” it helps me navigate surroundings much better, with reduced light input, less fragmentation and more visual depth and “real time”.

CLOTHING

I wear clothing with “pressure points” I have Visuospatial Dysgnosia (body disconnection) so I have tight bracelets round my wrists, my hair is in a tight bun/ponytail, tight fitted shoes – This gives me “anchor points” for my body to navigate around the “space” around me.

CONCLUSION

I still “see” and “hear” without “meaning” and in the supermarket I still like to touch to perceive and map my surroundings by remembering my patterns of movement around the store, however I believe in positivity and healthy challenges for myself and this is one of them. I hope this helps. 🙂

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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