Paul Isaacs' Blog

Autism from the inside

Living With Anomic Aphasia In The Context of Autism

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Note that this is from a personal perspective

Speaking to a speech and language therapist yesterday it got me thinking about my autism trajectory and what residual and very apparent markers of disability are still present and more importantly how they manifest and present themselves.

Looking Back

As a child it took me a long to time to speak and use language in a functional way. This meant that both receptive and expressive language was hard to filter and decode into something that was connecting and meaningful.

Left Hemisphere & Language

As I have stated in previous blogs part of my development was due to brain injury to the left hemisphere

This part of brain is were human language is formed (although other aspects of the brain will connect with this).

The Presentation Now 1 – Verbal Language

As an adult the type of a aphasia (receptive and expressive) as apart of my autism would be considered residual in presentation, it effects me when I’m tired. My words get stuck like a “blockage” and I have to consciously “find” the words which seem almost on “there” but disappear leading me to have longer pauses or repeat “umm” for example.

The Presentation Now 2 – Visual Perceptual Disorders & Mentalising

Lacking visual internalisation means that I don not have a “meta-reality” which involves complex pictural referencing, in other words I do not “store visual information in a coherent way” meaning that retrieval and word association when tired can be slowed down.

Having simultagnosia means I see things in pieces that has an effect on how I internalise visual information, mentalising (organising) and the need to focus on movement, pattern and touch to externally map-out something rather than internally.

Anomic aphasia (also known as dysnomia, nominal aphasia, and amnesic aphasia) is a mild, fluent type of aphasia where an individual has word retrieval failures and cannot express the words they want to say (particularly nouns and verbs).[1] Anomia is a deficit of expressive language. The most pervasive deficit in the aphasias is anomia. Some level of anomia is seen in all of the aphasias.[2] Individuals with aphasia who display anomia can often describe an object in detail and maybe even use hand gestures to demonstrate how the object is used but cannot find the appropriate word to name the object. [3]

Conclusion The Presentation Now 3 – Anomia (Word Finding )

It is completely understandable that not having an visual memory and having a long developmental history of language associated issues that word finding at times for me can be difficult, but one much use what they have and accept what is going on. I’m glad I am in a position to understand what is going on and I hope this blog helps others who can relate to this. 🙂

Paul Isaacs 2017

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

6 thoughts on “Living With Anomic Aphasia In The Context of Autism

  1. Pingback: Most Common “Pieces” in People’s Autism “Fruit Salad | Paul Isaacs' Blog

  2. I’m another person with aphasia from a brain injury. I’m majorly happy to meet another person like me. Maybe amazing managing tips are something you can share. I’m really trying to talk more – it’s my new year’s resolution. I want to make lots more progress. Maybe you can help. Thanks, Jace Pooley (age 11)

    • Thanks for commenting, I blogged many times about my difficulties with receptive and expressive language processing.

      What are your current difficulties at the moment? I admire your strength to want to progress in this area.

      • Wow! Thank you for writing. My great challenge is words getting stuck. I am able to write them but not say them. How about you?

      • Hi Jace a lot of problems and challenges are now residual, so for example I may when emotionally overwhelmed and tired I start to lose the ability to find words (this looks like one being tongue-tied).

        I can get stuck on colours, patterns and textures due to visual perceptual challenges meaning my speech can become funneled and echolalic.

        I write poetry and use creative writing to express what I cannot say verbally. These writings are emotive and introspective.

      • You sound lots like me! How do you manage to make how your eyes work not make talking hard?

        You are a writer lots like me, too. What do you use to write? I lamely need someone to frame my hand but am learning to type.

        I am so happy to know I’m just like you!

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