Paul Isaacs' Blog

Autism from the inside

Harold Doherty Autism Advocate & Parent – Breaking Stereotypes and Keeping Real About The Realities Of Autism

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I had the privilege of reading one of most thought provoking and very real posts on a blog by a Father with a son with classic autism – The father’s name is Harold Doherty and his son’s name is Conor.

Keeping it Real 

That is what I liked about Harold’s posts they are honest, sincere, direct and give true honesty and humility about the realities facing many people on the autism spectrum, he breaks down stereotypes, assumptions and the glamorisations within what autism is  and what it means for him and his son.

Fruit Salad Analogy Copyright D.Williams

Fruit Salad Analogy Copyright D.Williams

Autism cannot be represented by one person

No it cannot everybody on the autism spectrum has a diverse set of conditions and syndromes (a clustering if you will) this means that autism in itself is diverse – what makes up a person’s autism? What are the mechanic’s? Or as Donna Williams what is the “fruit salad”?

The Forgotten

Many people on the autism spectrum who have classic autism are forgotten so there is an imbalance in both the media, books and  other forms of media out there – Harold not only states this but backs it up with statistics and the realities of this for people with classic autism and their family members, this is surely not fair and services should be tailored and person-centred for people’s very specific needs.

Autism – Disorder or Difference?

What I would hope is that some day, academics and practitioners who have promoted the careers and perspectives of high functioning autistic persons and trivialized the challenges faced by those who suffer from severe autism disorders will start showing some integrity and professional responsibility whether they live in Montreal, Canada, New York, USA or Sydney, Australia. What I hope is that all academics and professionals will stop trivializing the severe challenges faced by so many with autism disorders and tell the world the whole truth about autism DISORDERS.

Harold also gives very real account of why he calls Autism a disorder – personally I agree with him and there is responsibility for people to be told the truth about such things, this clearly isn’t out militancy it  is out of education, compassion and need for more awareness.

My Autism Profile

My Autism profile as I have stated in many posts in complex due to brain injury and very nature of my sensory perceptual agnosias, language processing issues and a “mild” learning disability and so forth I have no problem with the word disorder, nor the word disability it is a fact and knowing the truth however hard it;s worth it. I can only educate by saying this is my profile and that I don’t represent everybody on the spectrum that would be unfair and grossly inaccurate.

Conclusion

I say keep going Harold, keep educating, spreading the word and keeping it real it will be a huge benefit to everyone the advocacy you are doing.

Paul Isaacs  Adult with Autism 2014

Links

HAROLD’S BLOG

HAROLD’S TWITTER PAGE

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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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