Paul Isaacs' Blog

Autism from the inside


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My World Employment- Reflections Of A Year Gone By

I would like thank the staff and people of My World for the opportunity 

Last year I got an an opportunity to work in a nice small house that caters for people on the autism spectrum it resides in a small quite village with rolling fields and picturesque surroundings.

I have been working ever since I was 15 years old so I have been in employment for over the same amount of time! I have always found that work makes a place is the people in the place it not about how a building looks or if its new or old it is about the overriding ethos in the placement you work and that for anybody counts.

I am pleased to be apart of a team that has a strong ethos which is grounded, emphatic, person-centred and realistic in its delivery and support. I feel that could be ported over to any job regardless of if the person has disability or not.

Paul Isaacs 2016

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Mental Health: Reflections Of Moving On From Negative Environments

ShortsNote: This is from a personal perspective

Negative environments

Negative environments can leave “hidden difficulties” that become about to the mix of things that may not of been there when the person entered them. Mental health is tempestuous subject in itself but looking after one’s own mental health and being aware of the “warning signs” of mental health issues can be a very difficult one to acknowledge and accept that is happening.

Slow escalation of events

Sometimes events can slowly build up from behaviours of others, this may have a slow gradient like effect that initially may seem quite “mild” in the sense that the overall impact is small and may well be just secluded to the event which happened and the person is able to get on with their day with no trouble at all.

Sometimes “resolve” doesn’t come in the form you expect

What if that situation lacks resolve but you yourself want a resolve? What is the situation is being mishandled? And you yourself want it to be handled correctly?

With a moral compass for feelings to not only be acknowledged but to withhold a balanced and healthy level of objectivity.

If those basic foundations aren’t in place for whatever reason and you feel trapped and/or obliged to keep going, there is going to be a tipping point and decision making that needs to be addressed, surely for the benefit of the parties involved.

Let go of the situation and the people within it

My reflections are only from a personal perspective on whence they happened but I believe that one of the primary mistakes that were made by me was to keep staying for the long term – I know why I did. It was primary because I didn’t want to leave; it made me feel uncomfortable for the future and what that meant in the long term.

Positivity and new experiences are valued

When I left the situation my mental health improved gradually to a point where my mental health was on an even keel and was not impacted by mood disorders, emotional regulation problems, clinical depression, and personality disorders. The “invisible chains” that had shackled me where gone I had gained a level of control, autonomy, roundedness with the ability to look back not in shame, self-pity but that a lesson was learned.

Paul Isaacs 2016


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Alexithymia, Somatisation Disorder, Emotional Regulation & the Loss of a Dog

Sometimes words cannot express in times the grief those thoughts, feelings and wants that you had for a loved one once they have passed on. This is from a personal perspective.

Emotions within “the self”

Being aware that such an emotion exists within at all can be difficult to decode and grasp in the end interpret within the context of its own reality and within its own significance one can witness and event that was seen to happening and not “connect” with it in a way which feels that is “correct” , “just” and “suitable” to me that is fine I understand why this happens within my “internal” self this is a road that I cross with not being able to “filter” or “interpret” my emotional states in “real time” or course one would expect a level of delay in such circumstances – but over many years I have noticed patterns my own behaviour that manifest during these times of grief.

Alexithymia and “emotional perception”

In my first book I document times of emotional perceptual difficulty either displaying an emotion and not connecting its own context or significance (such as crying from an emotive reason for example but not “naming” the reason or reasons behind it) or having delayed emotional perception which means a situation could be happening on a constant basis and it could take me years to filter how “I” felt about it like a wave of raw emotion hitting me all at once, in my teenager years I feel as if being “attacked” by my own emotions hitting my arms and legs, tensing my face and knuckling the temples of my head.

Emotional regulation

Regulating ones mood I have found to be difficult because the “origin” or “starting point “may take to time to be seen, understood and processed within the significance of the “self” and then the “other” (if other specific parties are involved) this loop once stared may well be overwhelming so the filtering starts on a difficult level now understanding and significance come into play.

Somatisation disorder

DSM-IV-TR
The DSM-IV-TR diagnostic criteria are:
• A history of somatic complaints over several years, starting prior to the age of 30.
• Such symptoms cannot be fully explained by a general medical condition or substance use OR, when there is an associated medical condition, the impairments due to the somatic symptoms are more severe than generally expected.
• Complaints are not feigned as in malingering or factitious disorder.

This has manifested itself in many different forms over the years it could be a headache, stomach ache, back pain, limb tenderness the list goes on but it seems to have running theme within my “decoding of emotions” with the death of my dog recently I started to have what I perceived as a toothache this pain last for well over three months (have problems with perceiving pain and trauma) I recently went to the dentist for a check-up and low and behold the wisdom tooth which I thought was “decayed” was healthy and no problems persisted.

Days after the dentist appointment the “pain” disappeared – I believe there is a connection between personality types, my emotional perception, and mood management and somatisation disorder and how I deal with grief and deep emotional states.

Emotions are human

Human beings are emotional beings and there are many different ways in which a person shall decode, evaluate, self-reference, and acknowledge and ultimately “deal” with their own emotional states is seems there are many emotional roads to Rome.

Paul Isaacs 2016


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“You” Aren’t The Centre Of Everything – Being Connected With Others

To Be Giving

The over-invested ego is one that goes through life like the sun things are always revolving around them, no sharing, no giving, no connecting what a sad life that must to be consumed by your own self importance with no room to share anything with others – let go of the ego and live a life of meaningful and noble connectedness with others.

Paul Isaacs 2016


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“Autism” what does it mean?

Note this is froDad and I Dancingm a personal perspective

When I was diagnosed with autism in 2010 one of the first things that I was told is that was still a “person” even if I didn’t the mechanics and/or “pieces” of my autism that nevertheless was a sage piece of advice that has stayed with me on a personal and professional level.

“Autism” is different for each person so here is a breakdown of the “mechanics”

  • Emotional perception (alexithymia) problems with recognising and verbalising emotional states.
  • Visual perception (visual agnosias) problems with perceiving faces, objects, reading words, colour and “sorting out my visual field into a “whole”.
  • Language processing (receptive aphasia) problems with processing and interpreting “meaning” and “significance” from language.
  • Auditory processing (auditory agnosias) problems with organising the origins of sounds.
  • Body perception (body agnosias and hemiplegia) problems with processing and perception on the right side of my body which affects coordination, problems with recognising pain, hunger and thirst.
  • Body and Movement (visuospatial dysgnosia) left-right disorientation.
  • Light Sensitivity (sensory integration disorder and related learning difficulties) problems with light creating distortions as well as dyslexia and dyscalculia.
  • “self” and “other” processing simultaneous information which requires this can be difficult.
  • Mental health and personality disorders.

 

PERSONALITY TYPES

I have four main personality types which intermingle with each these are human in terms of presentation but will differ form person to person – human beings under stress may develop “disordered” versions of these types affecting social and personal perception, mood management and interpersonal relationships and friendships.

  1. Idiosyncratic
  2. Mercurial
  3. Self-Sacrificing
  4. Serious  

 

NOT RELATING TO “AUTISTIC IDENTITY/IDENTITY-FIRST LANGUAGE 

I do not see my whole being as “autism” nor define myself by it. I see it apart of me, in my case the pieces are emotional perception, visual perception, language perception, auditory perception,
body perception, light sensitivity, information processing and learning difficulties
 with associated mood disorders, exposure anxiety, somatisation disorder, dissociation and personality disorders but they are not a total nor finite definition of my being. I can only speak from my perspective and that is all.

I am “Paul” first with the all the positives and negatives that come with it the likes, dislikes, regrets, dreams and the sense of just “being”. I shall never adhere to the “club” there is to much militancy, over-investing and politics. I see myself as apart of the human race – no more, no less, no more worthy, no less worthy just a person like one of the billions of people on the planet everyone has a story to tell don’t they.  😉

Paul Isaacs 2016


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Reflections on Autism Diagnosis & Being A Person

People ask me at times what was it like to be diagnosed with autism? Did I find myself, the answer that is I understood PARTS of how I function faceblindness, object blindness, meaning blindness, sensory intergration, aphasia, self and other processing, learning difficulties, co-conditions etc.

My parents said you do realise you are still Paul meaning I am a person first and don’t let these things above define “me” because I am a person first. I like art, music, drawing, movies, writing and poertry because I am a person first. I am solitary, idiosyncratic, mecurial, serious, silly because I am a person first and foremost.

With all these labels I have they are a pointer to PARTS of my functioning not my totality strip away all labels and their will always be human being.

Paul Isaacs 2015


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Can Over Investing (Directly or Indirectly) In “Autism Identity” Be Damaging?

Me and Dad“AUTISM” & “ASPERGER’S” ARE THEY ALL OF A PERSON? 

In the context of “Autism” or “Asperger’s” it is not “the person” it is the way the person processes information, cognitive, perceptual, language processing, gut and auto-immune issues, learning disabilities, learning difficulties etc – that isn’t “the person” it is how they process information, if someone without autism was hypothetically diagnosed “non-autism syndrome”  (I dislike the word “neurotypical” for the reasons of reverse prejudice and that fact it doesn’t exist not one person fits in a tidy demographic) do you think they would say that is “all of me”, “all of my being”, “all of my soul” maybe not for the personality traits which get lost in the the self (either projected on to the person or the person themselves) through seeing the diagnosis as “all” not “part of” I find this rather sad.

DID A LATE DIAGNOSIS HELP ME GAIN ME SENSE OF “ME”?

As a person diagnosed in my my late twenties maybe indirectly that has helped me see myself living as person not a “label” that to me is far more freeing I am happy go lucky, idiosyncratic, mercurial, solitary, creative, poetic, silly, have a laugh, like nice meals and good company the list goes on I am a “human” and there is great empowerment in reminding ANYBODY (regardless of disability or otherwise) that they are human/person first.

PERSONALITY TYPES 

I have noted some personality types I have regardless of being on the autism spectrum or not all  human beings have differing personality types.

“ONE SIZE FITS ALL” & POPULAR STEREOTYPES 

I also question the use of a “one size fits all demographic” if you think about it that makes no sense at all how can a person with autism be like ever other person with autism? Think the same? Process things same etc. I think it is about looking at the specifics and the mechanics not the stereotypes or generalisations that are about (all people with autism created things that progressed humanity for example). How about socially binding things? The real world with real people in it? How about looking at that instead even if a person on spectrum did create something unique shouldn’t the credit be on the creation not just the that fact that the person has autism? If anybody else had created something wouldn’t you do the same thing?

People get left out, feel more different than they may have initially felt, parents maybe left confused also, its time to strip away the politics and if one is going to be any help all lets focus of the what works. As a point of the reflection the baby in the top right hand corner what do you see? Do you see a baby? a little person/human-being?

Paul Isaacs 2015