Paul Isaacs' Blog

Autism from the inside


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Lenny King – An Autism Journey With & Presuming Competence

Lenny & His Mum Sharon
Lenny & His Mum Sharon

I first met the friendly and welcoming Lenny many years ago during a consultancy session

Lenny King is an endearing, funny and compassionate young man whom is thriving in his teenage years. He has a deep and close relationships to have parents and sister Rosie and has a sense of wonder and interest about the world around him.

Oral Apraxia, Echolalia and Language Processing

Lenny was diagnosed with on the autism spectrum when he was 2 years old, meeting him it is clear that he has oral apraxia and this is to do with speech organs in the mouth (tongue, jaw muscles, lips) not going tandem with what someone is saying. He has echolalia and this is do do with having a language processing disorder and creating one’s own language (patterning, theming and feeling) – with emotional context, phonic relatability and feeling words as opposed to their interpretive use.

Lenny has a great affinity for music and enjoys and eclectic array of songs – this seems have a profound impact on him as his body moves, sways also most in its own synchronistic modulations.

Sensory Perception, Object Blindness (Simultagnosia) & Meaning Blindness (Semantic Agnosia)

Lenny navigation of his external world suggests that he has sensory perceptual challenges if one can imagine for a that your sensory organs work but the feedback or information gets fragmented or distorted in some way – what system would you use? To create connections he is tactile kinesthetic in which he will feel his external world with great intent such as sand, blades of grass etc, When walks into a rooms he goes in around “dead space” and at times looks through and use peripheral vision to free information processing to “see”. This is extends to the way in which Lenny communicates and interacts with people touching their faces could be a way of creating context and association on a personal and emotive level.

Faceblindness, Body Agnosias & Mirrors

Lenny is fascinated by this face in the mirror and he at times brings his face up close and makes very distinct contortions around his mouth, lips and teeth. He seems to pay great inspection to these areas and there could be many reasonings to why this is happening.

Some people can be faceblind to their own face and on a subconscious level building up an external movement based “map” of what certain gestures look like could be one option, the other could be that he sees this person as an existential “friend” or “familiar person”. It took Donna Williams well into her twenties to understand she was looking at “herself” and me until I was sixteen. The final one could be a marriage of the above and be an getting a sense of his own “body as a whole” with the specific sways, body pressure and movement a to great a sense of reality and clarity/association.

Competence and IQ

I remember saying Lenny once not long ago “You are intelligent” to which he quickly replied “Yes!” this suggests to me that although he has complex language processing, sensory perceptual challenges and communication disorders and that his systems are on the plain of sensing much live his sister Daisy – in which he feels, merges with people, places and his surroundings and is able to connection on an emotive/introspective level that must never assume that “intelligence has a look”.

Lenny is intuitive, friendly, personable and highly idiosyncratic and self driven in all areas of his life and it is pleasure to be in his company.

Paul Isaacs 2021


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Profound Autism? Or More Complex Autism “Fruit Salads”?

Different Fruits Salads? Different Realities?

Some people have more complex autism “fruit salads which means the ideas around need certainly to addressed. Terminology does become polarising and inclusivity means looking at all realities, including one’s which challenge people.

Difference In Information Challenges?

Complex autism “fruit salads” may have these pieces. There are significant differences in Asperger’s and autism “fruit salads”. To say they are the same is misdirected.

Profound “autism fruit salads” could look like as follows-

Language processing disorders (aphasia/verbal agnosias).
Visual Perceptual disorders (face, meaning or object blindness).
Oral or full body apraxia and other communication challenges.
Body disconnection/body blindness (body agnosias) making one prone to self harm.
Underlying gut, metabolic or auto-immune challenges to information processing.
Acute levels of Exposure Anxiety.
Secondary Mood, Anxiety and Compulsive disorders that may have been present infancy.
Are still living in the System of Sensing.
Overall higher levels of visual-verbal information processing challenges.

Conclusions

Identity?

This means that you understand the pieces, produce competence and intelligence and never over invest in these challenges being “them”.

Politics?

Advocacy should always be a balanced, inclusive narrative. I see it as a professional responsibility not to feed the masses fables, buzz words or rhetoric.

Being Authentic & Objective?

It’s about being real and if that makes people uncomfortable then one must reason our why and come to a place of peace.

Paul Isaacs 2021


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The Problems With “Autistic Identity”& Stereotyped Perceptions

“Neurotypical” A Word Misused & Inaccurate?

There is no such thing as “neurotypical” in terms of a collective definition of people, viewpoints or principles.

It’s a word I never use as it seems to adorned a slur like status in projection. Bigotry is as such is not only based on stereotypes but I feel hinders more balanced narratives and objective dialogues and information sharing.

We Live In A Human World First Identities Come Second

This isn’t a “neurotypical” world either it is world full of different and sometimes conflicting ideas, notions and perceptions of “other” which then lead in extreme cases to towards conflicts in bias.

Autism Militant Projection & Distorted Narratives

Militant narratives burns more bridges than it claims to build, by having a narrow lense of how someone who isn’t on the autism spectrum acts, thinks, feels etc.

How does this build a platform for idea sharing, life sharing and forming healthy agreement and disagreement?

Non- Autistic Realities & Autistic Realities – All Human Beings Are Walking “Fruit Salads

There are different forms of non-autistic realities and some parts of those realities may be relatable to an “AUT-istic” experience such someone whom has faceblindness, object blindness or language processing disorder. In other words there are multi- faceted realities of being “non-autistic“.

For the AUT-ism is not a collective reality either, not everything is sensory, not everything is language processing, not everything is dyspraxia etc.

For these are potential facets of an AUT-istic experience but are separate and identifiable pieces in their own right, that can exist on their own terms and have different presentations.

The Problem With Identity- First Narrative

That is why Identity-First language is misleading because what “parts” one is choosing to relate may not be the “autism” (in their “fruit salads) anyway.

Paul 2020


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NAS Lambeth/A2ndVoice Workshop – Autism As A Fruit Salad & Sensory Perception Issues

This workshop is about Donna Williams’ “Fruit Salad” analogy of autism and sensory perceptual challenges and agnosias in the context of autism. Hosted by Venessa Bobb.

Further Information & Reading

What Is Autism?

Common Pieces In Autism “Fruit Salads

Sensory Perception in Autism

Paul Isaacs 2020


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NAS Lambeth /A2ndVoice Workshop – Autism & Exposure Anxiety

This workshop was about the crossover between Autism and Exposure Anxiety. Presented and Hosted by Venessa Bobb.

Cross overs with Pathological Demand Avoidance, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Reactive Attachment Disorder & Passive-aggressive Personality Disorder.

Additional Links

Autism & Exposure Anxiety By Donna Williams

PDA & EA Cross Over By Donna Williams

Paul Isaacs Personal Experience of Exposure Anxiety

Paul Isaacs 2020


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“Autistic” Identity & Sense of Self?

My autism dances with my personhood… and my personhood must also dance with my autism yet whilst not separable, nor are they interchangeable with each other.

Autism, Identity First Language, and Identity Blog 2014

Donna Williams

What is “Autistic Identity” is this narrative helpful? Or is its own simplicity, stereotypes, static and linear narrative actually causing more harm than good? Are people who do not fit the “look” being dismissed because of politics and hidden agendas?
 
Personality Types & Disorders in Autism
 
For example let’s look at personality types and autism – all humans beings have these mine are mercurial, idiosyncratic, serious, self-sacrificing and solitary this tempers my perspective, tolerance, outlooks and even my belief systems to some degree. When they become disordered this in term has an impact on presentation.
 
Social Perceptional Challenges 
 
Now there is sensory perception social emotional agnosia (not seeing body language, facial expression and tone of voice) and alexithymia (emotional awareness) is not SENSORY perception but SOCIAL perception.
 
Sensory Perception and Sensory Integration? Different Origins?
 
SENSORY perception simultagnosia, semantic agnosia and associated visual agnosias in which the person struggles with context, faces, people, visual mentalising and secondary factors with language processing what about that reality? Sensory sensitivities associated with psychosomatic amplification are different.
 
Language Processing, Perception & Articulation 
 
Then there is in language processing such as verbal agnosia the perception of words, receptive and expressive aphasia and ability to filter interpretation, sentence structure and may have secondary communication disorders such as body and oral apraxia. What about that reality?
 
Mental Health – Does This Change Presentation?
 
What about people who have mental health presentations such as dissociative disorders, attachment disorders, psychosis, anxiety disorders and impulse control disorder. What about that reality?
 
What About People With Impacted Health Systems?
 
What about people with gut, autoimmune, metabolic or collagen disorders in which they gave associated challenges around these conditions in top of any further information processing challenges above? What about that reality?
 
Autism “Politics” & Fixed Narratives 
 
What about people whom claim that people aren’t on he spectrum due to personal and potentially mitigated circumstances? An inability to see their reality, ideas or perspectives? So potentially setting up an assassination of character and allowing others to go along for ride? How is that care, compassion or inclusion?
 
I would like to further add that if someone whom was diagnosed in the 1960’s with “childhood psychosis” (which is what they thought autism back then) and later had been diagnosed with autism in the 1990’s along with other conditions throughout their adulthood (such as visual perceptual disorders, atypical epilepsy, dietary disabilities, malabsorption, collagen disorders/ehlers danlos syndrome), whom for many years their diagnosis was considered to be “fake” and a “fraud” despite historical evidence. Is that correct?
 
Is it fair that their character after over two decades of physical and sexual abuse (they had a mother whom was a attachment disordered serial pedophile and abuser) whom acquired PTSD and Dissociative Identity Disorder to be given the mantle of “fake”? Personality disordered? Emotionally dysregulated? Violent and infantile? I ask these questions because its certainly clear to me that it isn’t and yesterday it brought me great sadness because I know in my heart that this isn’t truth. Its not the writer of such things I upset by its the teller of those things. 
 
They are not here to defend themselves so the least I can do is send out a clear message do not dictate someone’s character second hand. Its that simple.
 
Identity vs. Reality 
 
“Autistic Identity” is a it’s own separate social phenomena in which people can at times cherry pick what “is and isn’t” their autism. One can supply facts with empathy and I have always remained objective and moderate in the world of autism. Let’s start acknowledging that “autism” was never one thing in the first place.

When someone is diagnosed with autism? Are there other aspects we have to consider?


So for example if someone sees there whole being as “Autistic” is that accurate? helpful? Should we be allowing this to happen?

Paul Isaacs 2020


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Donna Williams – Autism Beyond The Narrative

mde

It’s a very lonely road at times with my autism work and advocacy and here is why, I know as I type things will make more clarity as I continue to type.

Since Donna Williams’ passing in 2017 I have tried to advocate for her fruit salad analogy of autism (please checkout previous posts, links and images etc). I know that over her years of advocacy and consultancy she had her fair share of problems and challenges.

Militant autism advocates (on and off the autism spectrum) attacking her online for daring to challenge the status quo, rhetoric and internalised problems within the autism community.

Misunderstandings in her non- soft language terminology and her ability to supply “what if” scenarios etc.

This can a does become tiring on both a mental and physical level as to supply knowledge, it isn’t always easy however I try various different formats and medias to do so.

I believe that the ethical and moral thing to do is to supply with empathy and candour the multi-faceted nature of autism, the presentations, the mechanics and personhood.

Why? Because empowerment in this context means giving people tools to make good in life, to find themselves and be ultimately the best version of themselves. So many people cherry pick what autism “is and isn’t” and that is completely understandable because knowledge is not on the table to be supplied.

So anybody interested in finding out more?

Take time in ingest the knowledge and please know as with Polly my heart is in the right place.

Thank you Paul 😉👍 2020


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Living With Residual Exposure Anxiety

mde
Note this is from a personal perspective on Exposure Anxiety

I have written about Exposure Anxiety for many years, some people do not know they have this condition, some people they come out of it, for others they live in the invisible cage both in a prison and in sanctuary, hiding and residing in faux comfort and fear.

For some it is the involuntary compulsive, involuntary and self-protective responses that render the person sabotaging social situations when “self” has been aware of.

It’s pre-conscious act in which the person cannot control the nervous-system’s knee jerk reaction.

Although I still have a residual presentation of EA. I have come a long way, through self education, self awareness and self-advocacy. 😊👍

Paul Isaacs 2020


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Autism The Personhood Acknowledged

Humility, Humanity, and Rhetorics

Laura Corker thank you for sharing sadly this treatment very common (common does not mean right, moral, acceptable) and nor should time be used as a reason or excuse.

Historical Accounts


This open, honest and saddening blog I feel helps explain my reasonings, for it is when people are reduced to being seen as one thing that the wheels of injustice begin to turn.

Autism, Identity and Historical Underpinnings

Frames of reference change from centuries to decades etc. People wonder why as person on the autism spectrum why I want to be seen as a person first and foremost.

To seen as a person, to be seen as a human being, to have healthy acknowledgment of one’s abilities and disabilities.

Conclusion

If we strip militancy and autism politics then I feel more realities will be touched with the depthful knowledge of shared realities.

Echoed within the eternal halls of telling that the mind scriptures do not become dust but are laid bare for futures to come.

Paul Isaacs 2020


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Autism, Understanding True Love & Mergence Of Actual Self

See the source image

Note – This is from a personal perspective

Make Compassionate Comparisons 

What I have learnt today is a great lesson in the fact the brain can only take in a certain amount of information at a time, people have a unfortunate tendency to put a hierarchy on trauma, that one is worse, one is this more and other is less.

The truth is that devalues both parties to being just about the subject of comparisons, emotional detachment and spawning a level of guilt that person’s own trauma reactions is not compatible bases on the notion of “being less” therefore an inappropriate expression or reaction.

I have never believed that one’s life experiences should traded for another’s based on how someone should feel, nor do I agree with a person monopolising an experience to their own ends. It devalues both the experiences and realities of the subjects at hand.

Trauma & Rationality 

I have recently met all my traumas as realities in their own right, the emotional and sexual abuse at school, the emotional and psychological abuse at placements of employment, the death of my Grandparents and the illnesses that have almost killed my parents. They are experiences but not definitions of my overall character.

I take the learned experience of taking autonomy, objectivity and emotionality of all these events, understood them, internalised them as I was always myself and never sought projection as a game worth playing. I would never change a thing in my life as it has tempered my spirit, served valued lessons and kept me humble.

Detached Surface Responses

Superficiality it is like being presented a cake and realising beyond the icing there is nothing more than air underneath. I refused to play the ritualistic notion of “being a victim” as yet again it is a detachment from self not a synthesis of of the latter. False identity is just if not more taxing than not knowing who you are at all. Self respect is needed.

Self love is not selfishness, nor is empathy about other always putting your needs first, then a person must treat into the middle in which care for others and yourself should be of equal beauty.

Autism, Personhood & Identity 

With regards to my autism, I personally have never seen it as all of “me”, it is not omnipresent and nor would it make sense for it to be so. I say this not out of shame but out of balance.

So many other aspects of my life being woven into the interlinking quilt of personhood that makes “Paul” let’s at least see people being defined by more than one word.

Paul Isaacs 2020