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Autism from the inside


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Inspiration Matters – Interview May 2018

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Be yourself, don’t define yourself by your autism” – A self-assured life of an inspirational speaker, trainer and author on the autism spectrum – Paul Isaacs

“Awareness is the greatest agent for change.” – Eckhart Tolle. Paul was diagnosed with high functioning Autism at the age of 24. He has set himself apart by embarking on a noble mission of spreading awareness of Autism to enable the masses to help people with Autism live fulfilling lives. Paul has written several books about Autism including “Autism: Inside Perceptions of Communication, Interaction, Thoughts & Feelings” and “Living Through the Haze Autobiographical account of my life with Autism” which was a #1 bestseller. Paul has also been active delivering speeches to a variety of audiences such as parents, people on the Autism spectrum, social workers and at events for Autism charities and organizations like The National Autistic Society.

Thank you Paul for your time. Your interview will inspire all our community. The interview with Paul Isaacs was conducted by Inspiration Matters () in May 2018. More Info

  • : You have presented speeches on various subjects related to Autism. What has been the most popular subject for your speeches and how are these speeches helping you with spreading awareness?

P: I would say that aspect of autism being a “fruit salad” by Donna Williams (Polly Samuel) which breaks autism down into “pieces” she was objective, compassionate, real and honest in her words, findings and outlook on autism and so I carry on her model which is about education, mythbusting and not being swayed by the politics and rhetoric which is found in the autism world.

  • : How and when did you decide to start writing a book? Which of your book assignments was most challenging and why?

P: I was diagnosed with autism in 2010 at the age of twenty-four I was born in 1986 and went though mainstream education. My Mum thought I was deaf and blind as appeared not to “see” or “hear” however this was to do with visual perceptual disorders and being profoundly meaning deaf. I didn’t gain functional speech between the ages of 7/8 years old.

So that was a slice of my early developmental history when I wrote my first book I thought of the title and just typed in a pre-conscious state this meant that my hands on “auto-pilot” in other words I typed finished the manuscript then read it back and learned about my life. I do find writing a challenge I feel I show more of my connected self through writing than in any other medium which I would say art is a close second.

  • : What has been the most important milestone in your life. What is the impact of this on your life?

P: I would say being bullied was an important milestone to come out of. In many ways I send thanks to the people who bullied me over the years as they gave me a framework of how not to treat other people. I see my self not as victim but as a victim of circumstance which is completely different I take a lot of positives from these experiences and try and mould them into something objective, bitterness is a horrible thing to hold onto and as human beings have varying lifespans I do not want to was my life living in the past.

  • : What is your favorite art creation and why? What is the importance of art in your life?

P: From the age of 5 I was tampering with colours smearing them on to pages. I would say my favourite artwork was done during the passing my Gramp in 2017 it really helped me to come to terms with his passing and also the art was a way of remembrance and saying goodbye to his physical form and keeping memories of him alive.

  • : What kind of changes are needed to our current education system for children with special needs? Do you see any difference in today’s school system compared to when you were a student?

P: I have made reference to the late Polly’s “Fruit Salad” and I would say using her framework would not only help people with autism but also other development disabilities, learning difficulties, mental health issues, development of identity, personality, environment and or learning styles. What ever the package mare be “autism” or not it would certainly look at the students as rounded human beings.
Of course many progressions have been made however the educational system in general is rather generic and stale in terms of how information is present to students so maybe there needs to be a massive shift in the educational system as whole.

  • : What is the biggest concern for parents of children with autism? How do you think their concern can be resolved?

P: Being listened to as a human being, their worries, concerns for the future as a term of resolve although that is a big question to ask I would say it will always boil down to the people you meet and the environment you are in. So being non-judgemental would be a start and opening up an honest dialogue.

  • : Who is your inspiration?

P: The late Polly Samuels she was a great inspiration to my autism work, speeches, training and overall philosophy, she was an empath, a natural comedienne and always made you think “what if” she challenged the “status quo” in so many areas in her life. I enjoyed our skype chats she made me laugh and I think that is special if people can do that.

  • : What is your favorite place to visit? What do you like about that place?

P: I really like Oxford and the buildings, restaurants and gardens it has is such a beautiful setting I like the colours, the textures, the smells it is so familiar yet so new at the same time.

  • : What tips/advice do you have for those in our community who want to spread awareness?

P: Be yourself, don’t define yourself by your “autism” you are more than that, do not get into the negative politics of militants in the autism world I have seen the damage that can do to people, your story and life is of equal value regardless.

  • : Any special message for our community?

P: Walk on your on path, tread in its peaks and troughs, ride its waves fierce and quite, invite people to join you share their journey’s treaded also.

Paul Isaacs 2018

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Autism As A Describer Not a Definer – Combating “Label Lust” and “Overidentification”

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I have been an autism and advocate for over seven years I have seen many autism “fruit salads” in my time some people with auto-immune problems, other with complex mental health issues, others who see their autism as a curse, others who see their autism as special and unique, others who identify as their whole being as “autistic” others who don’t. I have seen militancy and anger towards people who go against old rhetoric who propose realism as opposed to glamorisation, people should allowed to give their own perspective from different angles, perspectives and offering multiple realities. 

Differing Profiles

With all the the “pieces” I describe in my training sessions and/or presentations are “describing” words the reality for that person will differ from “piece to piece” however that “piece” will have its own name and describing it allows the people understand a fragment of it albeit from a personal and/or observational perspective. Its hard to get the balance right but it is worth it.

Definition vs Describing vs Identification 

It isn’t defining people by the labels offered which is from an educational, resource perspective and even a self-reflective perspective. It is offering a window of what could be going on. I am not the speaker for all (never have been) but I put the questions out there.

 

Human Beings First

If we (as human beings) all defined ourselves by a set of labels it would be rather reductive and in reality a real shame. At the end of my sessions I offer a reality that despite the differing levels of “pieces” and/or disability  they are not defined by  their condition, they are human beings first like everyone else.

Paul Isaacs 2017

 


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Paul Isaacs – Public Speaker, Trainer & Consultant On The Autism Spectrum Booking 2017

the-autism-show-2014-3Dear All

My names is Paul Isaacs and firstly welcome to my blog page and I hope you have found it of interest. I am a seasoned public speaker, trainer and consultant on the autism spectrum and have presented at national events and autism placements such as.

Over the past five years through the wonderful help of Donna Williams  I have set out to discover my autism “fruit salad” through her sage wisdom, kindness and energy she has not only empowered me as professional but as a person also and I will be forever grateful for the kindness shown. I am eager to empower and share her model of autism to others.

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I mould my speeches and presentations to what the person, organisations, placement and/or charity want/s and go from there here is an example of the topics discussed. I draw upon knowledge of my own developmental trajectory I have gathered and previous placements of have attended, the people and professionals I have met along the way.

  • Sensory Perceptual Disorders
  • Language Processing Disorders
  • Sensory Agnosias
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Mental Health Conditions 
  • Personality Types 
  • Learning Styles
  • Environmental Issues  

Places I have Spoken For 

  • Specialist Autism Schools
  • Specialist Autism Residential Placements
  • Mainstream Schools & Education
  • Employment Services
  • Mental Health Placements
  • Learning Disability Nurses 
  • Autism Charities and Organisations 

Professionals Trained 

  • Police and PCSO 
  • Social Workers
  • Mental Health Professionals
  • Psychologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Speech & Language Therapists
  • Learning Disability Nurses
  • Mainstream Teachers
  • Specialist Education Teachers
  • Learning Support Assistants  

Other People Attended 

  • Parents
  • Family Members
  • People on the autism spectrum 

Consultancy

  • For people on the autism spectrum
  • Parents  

What People Have Said

 

I attended Paul’s talk at the “Autism and Participation” conference.  Paul’s talk explained, in an entertaining and powerful way, his extraordinary journey, from someone diagnosed as both deaf and blind (neither of which is true), to eventually getting a diagnosis of autism aged 24.

I found Paul’s explanation of his sensory needs and differences absolutely fascinating, and was particularly interested n the intensely personalised strategies Paul has developed over the years to help him to manage environments and situations which are challenging.  These include wearing wristbands to help him understand where his arms end, sensory equipment to prepare for meetings, as well as more traditional tools such as irlen lenses.  For me this exemplified how creative and individual the solutions to particular difficulties are likely to be.  This is a skill we need to develop in staff supporting those people on the spectrum who aren’t able to express their needs in the way Paul can. 

Paul’s ability to continue his presentation over the noise of an old, whirring projector was admirable, but eventually the challenge became too much, and some brave soul had to stand on a chair to switch it off.  This meant that though the noise had abated, Paul had to continue without his PowerPoint slides, which Paul managed admirably!

 Overall, I found Paul an engaging speaker who was able to adapt his presentation to the needs of the audience, and not only deliver a fascinating talk, but also really engage with the audience through his question and answer session.  – Carol Povey – NAS Director of the Centre for Autism, NAS Autism & Participation Event 2014

I have had the pleasure of seeing Paul Isaacs speak on two occasions, and as a Clinical Psychologist who has specialised in autism for the past 20 odd years, I can say that I have learned an enormous amount from him each time. Paul gives a unique perspective on autism, as a person with classic autism who has moved from being nonverbal to being extremely eloquent, Paul astonishes with his ability to succinctly describe both the joys  and the trials of having autism. He is also “laugh out loud” funny! Health and educational professionals, parents and family members as well as people on the autism spectrum will benefit from hearing him speak. I can highly recommend Paul to you. – Dr Michelle Garnett – Hearts & Minds – Asperger’s & Autism – 2 Day Conference 2014 

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Paul Isaacs 2017

 

 

 

 


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Bucks Autism Conference Video 2015

Note – These are from personal and obervational perspectives

Sensory Issues in the context of Autism Bucks Autism Conference

This video is about covers these topics

 

Paul Isaacs 2015

 

 

 


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Paul Isaacs – Local Autism Speaking, Training & Consultancy (Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire)

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As of August this year (2015) I am doing local work around my the counties of Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire – in  the roles of autism speeches, training and/or consultancy. I have currently worked in the field of autism for over five years and have written five books on the subject or autism and contributed to various other books and articles too.

Personal Website 

Audience Feedback 

If you live and/or are an organisation, charity, mainstream educational base or school, mental health service, autism based educational schools or any service  within in these counties and are interested in have me speak, train and/or consult please contact me via the information below.

CONTACT DETAILS

staypuft12@yahoo.co.uk 

Paul Isaacs 2015