Paul Isaacs' Blog

Autism from the inside

Autism, Dissociation, Exposure Anxiety & Understanding Criticism

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Paul Long Crendon1OVERVIEW

This is from my Personal Perspective of Autism, Dissociation &  Exposure Anxiety 

AUTISM AND PROCESSING 

During my younger years I was in mainstream education despite having obvious early signs of Autism speech  and language delay. receptive and expressive language processing  issues my Autism wasn’t recognised until adulthood.

PRIMARY SCHOOL AND EMOTIONAL TRIGGERS

During my Primary School years after I gained functional speech between the ages 7/8 years old so this was between 1993 and 1994 (I had the expressive language of a 3 year old and poor receptive language) I was subjected to heavy bouts of criticism and bullying – I now understand that was done in a unprofessional and unproductive manner the headteacher at school had one to one meetings with me during this time (with no mentor or advocate) telling me all my faults, mishaps, wrong behaviours and problems with me.

DISSOCIATION, EXPOSURE ANXIETY AND PRIMARY SCHOOL 

For me this was too much exposure of self (something Donna Williams talks about Exposure Anxiety) I had a lack of awareness of “self” and “other” so I dissociated creating a “persona” to deal and cope with the barrage of information this “persona” would deal with this conflict because “I” couldn’t. This went on up until the last year of school different teachers comment either to me or to my parents about my “odd” behaviour.

When I was referred to child and adolescent  mental health services (CAMHS)  in 1996 during my last year of school I was suffering from a “nervous throat” and childhood depression in the meetings I was to explain about why a particular teacher was bullying me this caused me to created another “persona” to deal with situation the exposure of self and the the information processing was too much however I tried my best to give her the information.

POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER AND SEXUAL ABUSE AT SECONDARY SCHOOL 

Until very recently I have to process and come to terms with PTSD with regards to an incident that happened at secondary school which resulted in sexual abuse through flashbacks and intrusive nightmares  (this is all I can disclose because of personal reasons), I have know doubt this has subconsciously had an affect on my self-worth, identity but I have come through this rather well and will continue to not be seen as an “object” or “thing”.

CRITICISM – IT IS NEEDED

Now we come full circle I know that my negative exposure to extreme criticism during my educational years has had an affect on what I subconsciously associate with what criticism is

In my head I like and want to be challenged criticised as it is needed for all human beings it is about

  • Give and take
  • Other peoples views (not just you own)
  • Validity for all
  • Equality for all
  • Fairness for all

DISSOCIATION & NEGATIVE ASSOCIATION 

However “my body, face and mouth” don’t seem to connect with my “head” and I dissociate quickly with the “persona ” that created over ten years ago to deal with the perceived attack (PTSD). My Mum says my face changes so do my eyes. This doesn’t however mean I’m not challenged this would be a great problem the reality of this is needed for all people really.

HOW I COPE WITH THIS

Firstly recognising where it comes from and for me personally and staying true what is my “head”  is saying I like and want to be challenged criticised as it is needed for all human beings it is about give and take, other people’s views (not just you own), validity, equality and fairness and in turn dealing with therapy on how to cope with dissociation and what my body is doing and feeling like my consciousness is taking step backwards. By understanding this I can move and take a step forwards in a positive and productive manner. 🙂

AUTISM & DISSOCIATION PAGE

DONNA WILLIAMS’ DISSOCIATION PAGE

AUTISM & DISSOCIATION BLOG 

PTSD

THOUSAND YARD STARE

 

Everybody voice deserves to heard 🙂 Everybody deserves to challenged  in a productive manner too. 🙂 

 

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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