Paul Isaacs' Blog

Autism from the inside


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Autism, Information Processing and Coronavirus

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Note – This is from a personal perspective 

Alexithymia & Emotional Processing 

Not knowing one’s own emotional states means that I struggle to connect my conscious and unconscious mind, incoming information doesn’t filter into a connected thought, feeling and inner response which is marrying up with my inner states.

Visual Perceptual Disorders, Aphantasia & Mentalising 

Aphantasia is a condition where one does not possess a functioning mind’s eye and cannot voluntarily visualize imagery.[1] The phenomenon was first described by Francis Galton in 1880[2] but has since remained largely unstudied. Interest in the phenomenon renewed after the publication of a study in 2015 conducted by a team led by Professor Adam Zeman of the University of Exeter,[3] which also coined the term aphantasia.[4] Research on the condition is still scarce.[5][6]

Visual learning is the most common form of accessing the information around you, I cannot  retrieve visual information and I do not have a “visual mind’s eye” this is called aphantasia. The aspects that I struggle with are visual fragmentation and simultagnosia (object blindness) and a residual level of semantic agnosia (meaning blindness). So watching the news and making visual-verbal connections takes time for me to access and apply meaning with my system which is largely kinesthetic in nature.

Tactile – Associative Synesthesia & Building Frameworks

There are many different types of synesthesia, but they may be categorized as falling into one of two groups: associative synesthesia and projective synesthesia. An associate feels a connection between a stimulus and a sense, while a projector actually sees, hears, feels, smells, or tastes a stimulation. For example, an associator might hear a violin and strongly associate it with the color blue, while a projector might hear a violin and see the color blue projected in space as if it were a physical object.

The way in which I build up frameworks is always on an emotive level I am unaware of my feelings from moment to moment, so I have to EXTERNALISE unconsciously in to text which can be creative in content, emotive and introspective and/or art work which can be abstract an metaphorical in representation. I am not a literal, logical processor of information and I do not have social emotional agnosia  that comes from disconnection of right hemisphere. So INTERNALISATION  comes from the marriage creative process as opposed to overtly factual and linear ones.

Aphasia & Language Processing 

Currently I am around 30 percent meaning deaf which means I can take in large amounts of information for a a short period of time, however I may begin to be flooded with a vast a array of language in which my mind cannot keep up with, it becomes distorted and slowly meaningless, so managing my time and input is crucial.

Conclusion

It is best for people to understand their own autism “fruit salad” and what works for them during times of great uncertainty and distress, build up a level of self-awareness or have someone around you that healthily acknowledges your challenges but still retains the autonomy and respect of seeing you as person.

Paul Isaacs 2020

 


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Atypical Features & Androgyny

I have atypical eyelids, shaped eyebrows, a crooked mouth and nasal bridge however people have told me either I look like a woman and/or have features of a woman for which I am flattered by their optical observations of my variants of my somewhat fruitful and irregular visage.

Androgny can be a look as much as an attitude a timely peek into someone who is a mixture of masculine and feminine.

I am not perfect and that is what should be cherished a feeling of unshackled non-perfection I find solace and tempered grounding beneath my limbs in these thoughts and I can smile freely. 😊

Paul Isaacs 2018.


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The “Autistic Identity” Phenomena

When I was diagnosed was autism in 2010 – I wasn’t aware of such an “identity” because to honest I was never in that “world” at all. I often wonder that despite the obvious difficulties I had during my development and environment the one thing that I had going for me was the simple “human-hood” which was conveyed by the my parents as a way of connecting with me.

I don’t consider this perception from my parents to be “unique”, “specialised” or “autistic-specific” in its intentions nor in its thinking at the time (although it could have well be seen as that on reflection).

I Wasn’t Born With a “Label”

In many of my blogs I have spoken about the balance of being seen as “human”, “person” and “being” first and as I have been in this “world” for over five years. I have seen the firm importance of seeing people as “people”, by not defining their whole “soul”, “identity”, “being” by their label (or labels) nor having it being overtly defined for them so there is nothing else left.

“Labels” Are an Adjective Not an Overall Definition

If everybody was to be defined by solely by a “label” wouldn’t it be restrictive, suffocating and narrowing your bandwidth of experiences, perceptions, thoughts and feelings?

Not Towing the Line Meant I Could See “myself ”

I am glad that I haven’t towed the line into the realms of stereotypes, group think, confirmation bias and all the militancy that goes with it. I am glad that my parents after I was diagnosed said that I am still “Paul” regardless. I am glad that I see the importance of seeing somone as a person first. I am glad that I have other interests that take up my time productively such as drawing, poetry, walks in the countryside and meeting up with friends.

People Are People Regardless

I am free to think and feel and have a more refined outlook that I am firstly and thankfully not being the centre of the universe, not the big answer all to the questions, not speaking for “all” (because no one can) and have a egalitarian view that all people are of equal worth in this world no more and certainly no less.

Paul Isaacs 2016


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Take A Break From “Autie-Land” & Regain Perspective of “You” & “Other”

SDC10045I have had a month off from the “autie-land” and I can say it has helped me very much with with perspective, with mindfulness, with balance and neutrality – the old saying about “I have found myself again” is something to strive for at least in me eyes. Being balanced means you can cope, adapt and manage things better in your life that means in essence you can be a more “functional person” this helps with both positive and negative things that happens in ones life this to me is very important in not only finding oneself but also connecting with others.

I have a strong belief that if one is on the “stage” one is not the centre of but one is “apart of” this that means everyone in principle is on a equal playing field even if at times it doesn’t feel like it (media, magazines, TV shows etc). However lets strive and make it a reality anyway. I have laughed more, procrastinated less, created more (drawings and poetry), walked more, enjoyed the company of good friends and people – I think that is telling me something right there. So if you are around people who are selfish, hollow, fake, lack empathy, are controlling and so forth how many chances do they need?

How many minutes, hours and years does one waste on this? This is something I have learned and lived in just over month when one is is balanced you “see more” as I have said I am person first and if we see people as “people” rather than “objects”, “things” and “labels” then maybe humanity would have a better chance of getting along. Strip the militancy and extremism out of it and have a better chance of ALL people being listened to.

Paul Isaacs 2015


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The Journey Of Artism

Fancy Beret“I love art and journey that encompasses it – I have no visual memory so my artwork is a journey in real-time and I go along with the journey with no pre-formatting although some basic ideas maybe contextually applied. I like to create things on a whim and feel free in my drawings.”

Paul Isaacs 2014