Paul Isaacs' Blog

Autism from the inside

Donna Williams & Friends – Autism & Personhood First Why Is This Important?



Over the years I have meet and contacted some amazing people who have certainly given me and other a lot to reflect about be it by ethos, emotive words, creativity and other positive contributions.


Fruit Salad Analogy Copyright D.Williams

Fruit Salad Analogy Copyright D.Williams

Donna Williams has always advocate and empowered the diversity of Autism for each person with her Fruit Salad analogy she has also pointed out the importance of the person recognising their personhood and the importance of not defining them by “their condition/disability” – I have me others along the way such as Sydney Edmond, Carly Fleischmann, Peyton Goddard  who give amazing insights into how someone experiences Autism (their own unique profile) but also in their own unique ways advocate their personhood as being something they want to be recognised by – this is so important I think from my own personal experience this has helped me with my mental health.


My personhood is important – My parents saw me as “Paul” and that is something even after my diagnosis of Autism 2010 told me and reminded me this was so helpful. If I disliked someone for have a different “brain-wiring” that would be terrible I don’t like that at all – To like or dislike  someone on the basis of someone being on the spectrum or not? How about seeing someone’s  personhood something we as people all share – I connect with people on that basis.


Donna Williams 2011

Donna Williams

Donna Williams –

“I AM autistic but I HAVE immune deficiencies, I HAD cancer (apparently I can’t actually un-have it, its called remission) , I HAVE Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome… I also HAVE visual perceptual disorders, I HAVE language processing disorder, I HAVE mild learning disabilities.

“I do not feel I AM these things, they are not ME, they walk alongside of me, often as parts of my autism, and whilst I AM autistic, just as I AM immune deficient, and I AM mildly learning disabled, Autism is not the sum total of who I am, it does not define my entire being or personhood, even if my personality traits are archetypally relatively ‘autistic’, I remain a person WITH autism… someone who HAS autism and, ok, IS autistic. The rest is war mongering militant separatist fascist crudola”

Sydney Edmond

Sydney Edmond

Sydney Edmond –

“I think with a brain that is impacted by autism. But my personhood, my spirit, my identity is free. It peers at the world through eyes that are loaded with sensitivities and quirks , but it is free.”

“I am autistic. I am a poet. I am learning piano. I practice ballet and yoga. I love history. I collect dolls. I present speeches I have written lacking a voice using a device that speaks my words. I want you and people everywhere to know I am not defined by autism as long as I am allowed to express my words in my own way. Please do not look at us and see autism. Look at us and take the time to get to know us as individuals. Please lack snap judgment. I am Sydney long before I am autistic.“

Carly Fleischmann

Carly Fleischmann

Carly Fleischmann –

“In the last four years of my life I have found, and I am proud to say, started using my inner voice to type and to share the truths, secrets and myths about autism. I was asked, a while ago, if I get sick and tired answering questions to my over 15 thousand fans and followers on Twitter Facebook and my blog The way I see it, how is anyone really going to know the truth about living with autism unless someone with autism talks about it?

“They say autism is one of those things that even doctors and experts donʼt really understand yet. So, like I tell my readers, why go to a duck to find out whatʼs wrong with the horse when you can go right to the horseʼs mouth?”

Peyton Goddard –

Peyton Goddard

Peyton Goddard

“early jolts and tragedies of our lives we hopefully persevere. Through love and understanding people advance forward, opposition not, toward personal realizations of peace in the human experience. Plot we each are part of the human equation. The top representation of the equation is ONE-ness.”




Me –

Autism & Challenging Behaviour Event 2011 2

Me At Autism & Challenging Behaviour Event 2011

“People don’t “see” that I’m on the Autism Spectrum and “see” even less that I have a Learning Disability however I wish for these aspects to be acknowledged but not to be definitive, I’m Paul, not just a set of traits and symptoms and that is something that people on the spectrum should remember that they have a personhood which will always shine first” 

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

7 thoughts on “Donna Williams & Friends – Autism & Personhood First Why Is This Important?

  1. Dear Paul,

    Thank you for this post and everything you do to improve life for everyone who is neurodiverse…..and that is, in fact, EVERYONE.

    Your kindness, thoughtfulness and generosity of spirit is an inspiration to me.
    Thank you for doing me the honor of being a friend.

    With utmost respect,

  2. Beautiful post. Made me cry! My son is on the spectrum, you gave me the hope I needed to smile through the tears that have happened as the result of a very tough day.

  3. this is interesting Paul and thank you for sharing. My children’s dad thinks he has Autism and he seems to disassociate . He would have had a better time in life if he had been able to get some support and understanding of his “quirks.” He had a tendency to violence but I think now, with more understanding on my part I can see it was linked to some degree, to anxiety.
    the only real way we can understand each other is by listening to others who , like you, have the ability to self-reflect and explain 🙂 thankyou-my daughter is also on the Autism Spectrum (autism) and has ID and high anxiety but she is my anchor in life in a strange way

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