Paul Isaacs' Blog

Autism from the inside


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Autism -The Three Stages of Empowerment

Autism “Fruit Salads”(© Donna Williams 1995/2005/2014)

This is bottom to top analogy which implements all aspects of what could be in a person’s “autism fruit salad” to start off with the foundation is to understand the mechanics of what is within a person’s “autisms” (rather than autism). By looking at this we can separate it into these aspects.

  • Communication profile
  • Social-emotional profile
  • Emotional processing profile
  • Sensory Integration profile
  • Sensory Perceptual profile
  • Receptive Language profile
  • Expressive Language profile
  • Motor-coordination profile
  • Dietary profile
  • Auto-immune disorders profile
  • Learning styles profile
  • Personality types profile
  • Identity profile
  • Co-conditions profile

Interventions

These will be tailored to the specific needs of person’s profile/profiles looking holistically as well as professional for empowerment, guidance, social support, emotional support and/or any aspect of the person “autisms” that is within the mix. For example you could have someone who has exposure anxiety and dislikes direct confrontation and prefers an indirectly confrontational approach, is profoundly meaning deaf and aphasic. Think how you would build up that person’s profile and empower them?

An example

  • Gestural language
  • Aiding Mentalising by building up meaning and association
  • Being a follower not a leader or an expectant doer
  • Leave them wanting more and giving positive affirmations

Solutions

They will come in many forms as they marriage of each step relies on the one previous with regards to the “final step” this will be looking at what is working, aiding and empowering the person, their families, guardians etc. This could be put in an report or functional document for educational and professional services to have or it could be used as an information pack for friends and family the choice is yours.

Remember autism is not ONE THING it is a CLUSTERING of pre-existing conditions within one PERSON and that is the thing to realise that one person’s reality does not mean that is representational of all because that would mean a lot voices and realities would be left unheard it is time to change the landscape and starts with being open minded.

Paul Isaacs 2017


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Autism, Visual Perceptual Disorders & Tinted Lenses Videos

Note: This is from a personal perspecitve and doesn’t represent all people on the autism spectrum with or without the co-conditions mentioned

These interviews were conducted at the NAS Conference in Telford – In these interviews I talk about visual perceptual disorders, agnosias and tinted lenses in the context of autism. I would also like to stress that everyone’s autism.

 

 

Paul Isaacs 2016

 


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Reflections for the New Year and Life

IMAG0272I hope all have a grateful New Year and are ready to spread their wings into different ventures and pathways, you may have to go down a different path and/or continue down the same one until the cross-roads of life unfold you may have do things that are uncomfortable but necessary you may need to do things that continue to give you joy and stability – burning bridges with the philosophy that isn’t shallow but needed, contextual and logical.

Keeping and valuing good friends and loved ones whom value you as you do them with the veneer less intentions and faces with what you see is what you get none too one-sided or over invested but just balanced – this is hopefully something that is learned to me in the coming year to strive to me more balanced, have good emotional management, to not be a doormat or be used by untrustworthy agendas and shallow people he thing more about you can do for them a less about the person you are, to value real friend and companionship this will not just be for 2016 but something that I can work on in the ages.

Paul Isaacs 2016


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Autism Interview #8: Paul Isaacs on Personhood and “Autistic Identity”

Jenna GensicMany Thanks to Jenna Gensic for conducting this interview with me and others – please checkout Jenna’s page Learn From Autistics -Connecting Parents and Caregivers with Autistic Voices

Paul Isaacs is an autism advocate, trainer, and public speaker from England. He says that public speaking about his experiences and the experiences of others has helped him find his voice and develop a true skill. He always emphasizes the positive aspects of how life can be lived with autism. He uses the acronym PEC to describe the qualities people who work with autism should have: Positivity, Empathy, and Compassion. He is also a published author and blogs at Autism from the Inside.
In your most recent blog post, you discussed your dislike of the tendency to attribute someone’s neurology to their entire identity or personhood. However, there are many other autistic self-advocates who insist that this premise is important for improving the treatment of people with disabilities. What advice do you have for parents who are trying to help empower their children with the skills and confidence to be successful and are receiving conflicting information from autistic self-advocates in this area?

I would say that being born a human being first should be seen. Every person on this planet is a human being regardless of ability, disability, race and gender. Understanding the “autism” is very person specific, environmentally specific and situational specific – these different “pieces” which make up the autism have their own unique presentation, and also the way in which the person is affected will differ not only due to the “pieces” and their trajectory, but what the “pieces” are in the first place. It is like being a detective, searching out what works and what doesn’t are both equally important.

With regards to my identity, I see myself as a person and a part of humanity, so therefore I am a person first – personally, my autism affects my visual and auditory perception, language processing, cognitive processing, learning difficulties, etc, but these are PART of me, not the totality of my BEING .

I have personality traits (which everybody has regardless of autism or not) which make me happy, silly, draw, sketch, meet up with people, etc. These are human things which I value. I am not ashamed of my autism, but I don’t glamourise it either. I keep a balanced, open-mind. I can only speak for myself (how autism affects me). No one can speak for ALL, so, in that sense, people can learn from different perspectives and realities.

You were diagnosed at a relatively late age even though you exhibited clear signs of autism when you were young. What do you think was the main reason for this delay? Have you seen evidence of this still occurring today or has autism awareness reached new heights such that this sort of situation will likely never happen again?
I was born in 1986 and although there were specialist autism bases around my area, my autism wasn’t picked up due to circumstantial insistences. I was seen by an educational psychologist in 1993 and was seen by a child and adolescent mental health team in 1996 and an adult mental health services in 2007 and 2008 before I was formally diagnosed in 2010.
I would say it was not anybody’s fault as no information was given to my parents during my time in mainstream education. When I was in secondary school (I gained functional speech between the ages of 7/8), there where several meetings with my head, as well as the latter years of primary school. However, there was an autism base at the secondary school, and I would speak with the students and even attend lunchtime meetings and eat with them.
My Mum though I was solely brain damaged due to the placental abruption and lack of oxygen when I was born and that was the only name she had for my “behaviours,” but she had no doubt that I was a person before any of these difficulties.
What are you asked to speak about most often?

Sensory perceptional and language processing seems to be the one I get asked to do; however, on my booking page I have slowly built up other areas and topics.

What mistakes do autism advocates make?

Getting over-invested in the autism “politics” this where “identity” can become in crisis, and mental health can breakdown. I am talking through observations and also experiencing it myself – Donna Williams an advocate, speaker, consultant and author on the spectrum gave me some sage advice, and that is to take a step back, regain healthy boundaries, find yourself and do socially binding things.

Autism politics can get rather unhealthy to be a part of, there can be militancy by people on an off the autism spectrum that can be rather distressing and uncomfortable to be a part of. My personal opinion is that everybody has a story and that their realities are just as valid as anyone else’s – there should not be a single representation, but a more egalitarian outlook where all person hoods and realities are taken into account. It is my opinion that autism isn’t culture, but a “culture” has been created around autism.

Describe some of the factors that have contributed to the personal and professional success you have achieved today.

My parents have helped me a lot over the years on both a personal and professional level – it started with boundaries, right and wrong, having a moral compass, seeing “failure” as normal and therefore accepted, seeing me as “Paul” first, a boy, a teenager, an adult, and letting me experience the outside world and all that it entails.

What are some of the strengths and challenges you’ve experienced as a result of being on the spectrum?

I still have problems with language processing, visual perception (faces, objects, people), visual distortions (foreground, background), under-processing on my right side (motor and visual), sensory integration, movement, processing “self” and “other” – being mono-tracked and seeing the significance of what is being said and what is happening (life skills have helped so much in this area) and learning difficulties.

I don’t know if my strengths are autie-specific. I do enjoy writing poetry, creating abstract artwork, and writing books. I like creating things, watching movies, and I also like alternate fashion.

What advice do you have for parents of autistic children who respect the knowledge and experience of autistic self-advocates and are looking for guidance in helping their children develop their potentials?

Go with the child on their journey. It will be different for each person – see them as your child first, understand the pieces of their “autism,” and work from there. Let the child experience life.

Jenna Gensic & Paul Isaacs 2015


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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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Ending Racism – The Illogical Perception That Hating Others Is “Right” It Isn’t

Why?

I often wondering why some would hate someone for such reasons? – How someone gets to the point of were they hate someone so much that they feel the immoral validation to take peoples lives just to “prove a point” or to “send a message” this sort of mentality not only needs to be challenged but also be challenged to  why someone would have such a perception in the first place. It is simply wrong.

Hate Does Nothing

Hate has never caused any solutions nor solved any problems but by ending hate that will have many positive outcomes for all people, equalism, opportunities, positive validation (being listen too and acknowledged as person) and communities coming together. 🙂

STAYWOKE – Together, we will END racism and police violence in America. Get involved. #StayWoke

Paul Isaacs 2015


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Autism & What About Humanity? And Connectivity?

Family Christmas Early 90s

Dad, Gramp & Me Just “Being”

Autism it just “is” when I go out in the world the biggest thing for me is to be apart of humanity, people, beings – so when I go down the street what do you “see” and what do.

I “see” – “Autism” is a name for a clustering of pre-existing conditions which I have which for me are (PERCEPTUAL, LANGUAGE EXPRESSION, AUDITORY, LANGUAGE RECEPTION, BRAIN INJURY, MOVEMENT, COGNITION) this is PERSONAL to me but they affect how I process things/understand things – they do not define my TOTALITY nor are they “ME” I am artistic, idiosyncratic, emotive, emotional, creative, solitary, serious, funny, silly etc those things are what is called shared things with other people (regardless of any disability or not).

Autism is something I am neither proud or nor ashamed of it just “is” I was born a person so I would rather people see me as a person (as everyone else should be) not to be swept up by stereotypes, or militancy or “them” and “us” perceptions, but be seen as person. I am not a an “object” to be observed nor am I a “genius” to be revered – so if we look at being balanced about things then we open up more doors then close them. I am no “better” nor “worse”. We (as human beings) are all equal. 

Paul Isaacs 2015