Today I was doing autism training and in the team was lovely and inquisitive man with Asperger’s Syndrome as the session went on he shared some of his experiences from not picking up verbal cues, being literal and having sensory integration disorder as well as issues with emotional regulation and possible alexithymia.
It amazes me still that people think that “Autism” and “Asperger’s Syndrome” are still considered to some to be the “same thing” when is clear that even if on the surface some of the issues may be similar many of underlying components are very different. If I use both the gentlemen in question and myself as examples so here goes.
- The gentleman seemed to display a level of Social Emotional Agnosia which meant he struggles with non-verbal cues, tone of voice and facial expression he acknowledged that he use past experiences to build up a format of how to understand someone
- He didn’t have Prosopagnosia (30% of people with social emotional agnosia do so)
- He was literal in processing of verbal language and seemed to have less impaired visual-verbal processing
- Possible Alexithymia which is “knowingness of your own emotional states”
- Seemed to mentalise in a more logical, literal and pragmatic manner which suggests the use of the “left brain” person.
- I have a mixture of Simultagnosia (Object Blindness) and Semantic Agnosia (Meaning Blindness) which means my visual field is fragmented, distorted and incoming visual information does not have any meaning, context or reasoning
- I have Prosopagnosia (Faceblindness) as an extending of the already existing issues around visual perception meaning I “recognise people” primarily by patterns of movement and voice
- I have a level of Receptive and Expressive Aphasia (Meaning Deafness) which even in its current residual form means I “lose” the ability to keep up with interpretive verbal information and struggle with visual-verbal processing
- I have less literal, logical and pragmatic style of thinking or organised thoughts I am very much a “right brain” person.
I was asked what I thought the main different feature was between Autism and Asperger’s. I think you’ll maybe find in reading through the site on brain hemisphere specialisation that there are many Aspies who may be better at left brain stuff and many Auties who may be more right brain but not nearly recognised for the abilities they do have as much as they are recognised for the left-brain abilities they don’t have. Whilst most people have a balance of both abilities, being extremely one side or the other clearly means the abilities of that other side are far less practiced. Processing incoming information in a non-Autie manner usually involves using a good balance of the two. So feel free to try the test yourself.
Maybe its is because I spent large part of my infanthood exploring through my senses and/or through patterning, theming and feeling struggling to get a sense of what “interpretive information” is and what it means? To be around such information and how to connect all the dots within in my mind. However I appreciated and acknowledged the validity of it in my previous blog post.
I flourish in areas of typing, writing poetry and creativity I love wordplay, sounds, pitches and the seemingly infinite kaleidoscope colours, shapes, textures and shines they “talk to me” as much as next person.
Things Foundly Remembered
I saw your face with my hands
A voice a distant echo but foundly acknowledged
The smell of the wise tree in the garden the leaves did dance
A new place everywhere to be eagerly explored upwards and onwards
Flomping along the globblyness unstuck and unshackled my hands are free
Looking at the gloaming and silvering shape what plotunes and envelopes my soul
I thank you old friends you are me and I am likewise swashing around in the ink clouds
Paul Isaacs 2017