Paul Isaacs' Blog

Autism from the inside


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Looking At People With “Complex” Autism Fruit Salads

Note this is from a personal perspective, professional and observational perspectives – photos supplied with kind permission of Sharon King.

Reference Points

When we think of the word “autism” what do we mean? What are we saying? Is it a person’s own observational perspective? Could it be what one has read in a book? Seen on the television? Or could it be around a family member or diagnosis that you have yourself?

What Lenses Are We Looking Through? Our Own? Or Others?

When I think of the words “autism” from objective stand point which filters in to my professional philosophy it must ultimately be person centred, there should be no room from stereotypes, misinformation, rhetoric, identity politics that ultimately cloud, divide and at times silence voices and realities. Inclusion should mean in principle a need to look at things other than your own lenses.

Patchwork Quilts & Fruit Salads

When I saw the both Daisy and Lenny King many years ago I was ultimately seeing people in there own right and consulted with the family and the different information processing challenges that they had.

  • Sensory perceptual challenges (face, object and meaning blindness)
  • Language processing challenges (aphasia/verbal agnosia)
  • Body disconnection (body agnosias, finger agnosias)
  • Communication challenges (oral apraxia)

The Precious Nature Of Seeing Personhoods

What I have enjoyed and still do as family friend is their company they both live in the system of sensing (a pre-conscious world in which they have mergence), they are fiercely and emotively introspective, solitary and self owning, they offer friendship and connectivity beyond interpretive frameworks but are still equally meaningful, they are idiosyncratic and individualistic and their intelligence is clear to those whom are open minded enough to presume competence and understand that autism doesn’t have “one look”.

Paul Isaacs 2021


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Autism Bucks Workshop – Autism & Sensory Issues

This is the third workshop presentation is about autism and sensory issues, such as integration, agnosias and sensory amplification.

Further Reading & Links

Sensory Integration Disorder

Sensory Agnosias In Autism

Somatic Amplification (Common with Mental Health Conditions, Asperger’s Syndrome and Alexithymia)

Visual Perceptual Disorders In Autism

Body Agnosias In Autism

Pain Agnosias 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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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

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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 an unfortunate tendency to put a hierarchy on trauma, that one is worse, one is this more and the 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 a person’s own trauma reactions is not compatible based on the notion of “being less” therefore an inappropriate expression or reaction.

I have never believed that one’s life experiences should be 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 is like being presented with 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 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 others 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


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Do Things Out Of Connection, Not Forced Obligation

Never do things because you were told they will make you feel eternally happy, do not get married, do not have children, do not pursue a career on that basis.

One must be happy from within first, one must know themselves first, one must do things on the basis of a collective want as opposed to a shoe horned narrative then true connectivity blossoms from the fertile ground of honesty.

That is what makes those pursuits above valid, you do things and likewise don’t do things on connected energy not a disconnected one.

Paul Isaacs 2020


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Autism & Personality Types – They Do Exist

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Personality Types & Autism 

When we look at “autism” looking at personality types is just as important as any other factors. We could look at these aspects of a human being they are very much the “soul” of the person they pepper one’s temperament, personal outlook, emotional regulation, friendships, relationships and aspects of social and emotional interaction.

Identity Crisis

For people who are on the autism spectrum not all their “being” is dictated by the diagnosis that they have. This of course will vary from person to person depending on what part of their “fruit salad” are impacting and how they view their personhood within that. Is it hidden by language processing disorder? Is it being tempered and challenged by health issues? Or are there underlying mental health issues that are being called “the autism” when they are not?

Autism Isn’t a “Collective” 

Some people see their autism as “ego-syntonic” that is all their person and they feel it all of the time, others like myself see their autism as part of their “being” this means that other factors come into it such as environmental factors, mental health, identity and learning style all human being are made of up these things . For me it seems to over simplified and reductive to suggest that people on the spectrum share common goals, values and outlooks as a collective experience.

The “Sameness” Machine

“We” do not all come from the same place, we do not have a carbon copy autism “fruit salad” that is  shared from person to person. That means that one should be seen as an individual not just a sausage machine of traits. People are born with no labels what so ever and no one person is defined by “one word”.

Paul Isaacs 2018

 

 


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Not Proud Nor Ashamed – Balanced About Being On The Autism Spectrum

Premature 1

I Was Born A Human Being

I was born in 1986 and as far as I know I was born a human being just like the 7 billion other people on the this earth and of course I had my issues related to autism not being able to speak, not seeing the world as a coherent whole, faceblindness, receptive and expressive language disorders, oral apraxia, hemiplegia and list goes on. These thing are not “me” being face-blind isn’t me, being aphasic isn’t me and being hemiplegic isn’t me either.

Autism A Describing Word

“Autism” is describing not defining for some people autism is a culture a place to be in and around a shared culture, however I do not believe that autism is a culture but has been created as such and maybe the question is who created culture? What rules apply? What rules don’t? What is “autistic”? What isn’t “autistic”?

I often wonder I feel however so more closer to being a human being then defining myself by one word which means different things to different people.

When I was formally diagnosed in 2010 with autism I was told by my parents that you are still “Paul” and this diagnosis only changes one thing that you aware of what difficulties you have had.

Autism Is Apart Of? Not The Defining Factor?

I would agree with them and be understanding my autism and as clustering of differing conditions I was able to piece together my “autism” not as I saw fit but looking at deeply and introspectively enough to understand myself and hopefully empower others.

I know what autism is for me it is apart of not the defining factor I feel indifferent and balanced about what it means. I have done enough research and consultancy work to know that personality types, co-conditions, environmental factors, metabolic disorders, auto-immune disorders, learning types and communication styles, will have an impact on the presentation of one’s “autism” so what does that mean?

  • Not one intervention works for all.
  • Not all the issues are the same despite have a similar and/or same diagnosis.
  • Not all people with autism have the same wants, needs, or desires
  • Not all people on the spectrum have the same communication profiles.
  • Some people on the autism spectrum have auto-immune and metabolic issues which impact on functioning.
  • Some people with autism have dietary disabilities which impact on learning and information processing.
  • Some people on the autism spectrum will have undiagnosed personality disorders and mental health co-conditions that keep being called “the autism” when they are not.

I AM autistic but I HAVE immune deficiencies, I HAD cancer (apparently I can’t actually un-have it, its called remission) , I HAVE Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome… I also HAVE visual perceptual disorders, I HAVE language processing disorder, I HAVE mild learning disabilities.

I do not feel I AM these things, they are not ME, they walk alongside of me, often as parts of my autism, and whilst I AM autistic, just as I AM immune deficient, and I AM mildly learning disabled, Autism is not the sum total of who I am, it does not define my entire being or personhood, even if my personality traits are archetypally relatively ‘autistic’, I remain a person WITH autism… someone who HAS autism and, ok, IS autistic. The rest is war mongering militant separatist fascist crudola

– says Groucho
“PLEASE ACCEPT MY RESIGNATION. I DON’T WANT TO BELONG TO ANY CLUB THAT WILL ACCEPT PEOPLE LIKE ME AS A MEMBER”.

Polly Samuel 2013

Overall autism is not the defining factor of my me. My personhood that will always shine first not because I am ashamed of my autism nor because I am not proud of it either I remain balanced in what that means it gives me clarity and sanity. I am a human being first.

Paul Isaacs 2017


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Autism “Specialism”, Personality Profiles, Reverse Bigotry & Being Human

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Many times people often focus on the person’s autism as all of “them” this means that the “autism” is the reason for all of their behaviours, reactions, actions and motivations. If you are on the autism spectrum you may well be aware of autism “stereotypes” such as an overtly logical, literal processor and extractor of information. If this is true in some cases it is far from the bigger picture and is far from the broader palette that is actually out there.

Let’s look at three examples of differing personality types

For the person with a Idiosyncratic personality type not fitting in a running along their own path maybe something that has brought them joy and/or isolation by “dancing to their own beat”, being naturally non-conformist, inventive and intuitive.

The Idiosyncratic Personality Type believe that your interests lie in (Oldham, pg. 252):

  • not being like anyone else
  • marching to your own beat
  • being unconventional
  • being original
  • standing out from the crowd

For the person with a Conscientious personality type they may be fixed on being productive, useful and striving for success the fear of failure and self loathing could hinder their development for continued perfectionism, however being pragmatic and ordered in nature along with highly motivational work ethic has its benefits.

The interests of the Conscientious Character Style include (Oldham, pg. 62):

  • having strong moral principles and being certain
  • not resting until the job is done and done right
  • being loyal to families, causes, and superiors
  • working hard to do well
  • achieving and accomplishing things
  • loving to work and be challenged

For the person with a Solitary personality type being focused on being alone, in a “inner world” and not be swayed by praise, acknowledgment or criticism this may come with a lack of social and emotional development however their comfortable observations of the world offer patience, tranquillity and healthily reserve.

The interests of the Solitary Personality Type include (Oldham, pg. 275):

  • not needing anyone but yourself
  • being unmoved by the crowd
  • being free of the need to impress and please
  • being free of emotions and involvements with others
  • having clarity of vision rather than sentiment and intimacy
  • discovering and recording the facts of existence

The Problem With “Specialism”

Nobody is better than anyone else and that accounts for people on the spectrum too. I strive for balance, objectivity, kindness, empathy and equality. If someone is going to be militant with the focus being that people off the autism spectrum are collectively “wrong” then reverse bigotry is still bigotry and doesn’t into the framework of empowerment it creates more divisions, voices, lost, realties not acknowledged that in not progress but quite the opposite.

Personality types and the richness of them are for all people to share I have noted that mine are idiosyncratic, serious, mercurial and self-sacrificing by narrowing your bandwidth and not acknowledging that personality types have much to about development as the neurological and biological challenges means you are missing the fundamental part of “humanness.”

Promoting equality in difference and diversity, is what I believe in and I’ll strive for the opportunity to do that, wherever I find it.

Any derogatory or dismissive stance relating to non-autistic people as a group is no less a form of prejudice as any in history.

Polly Samuel

Autism, Personhood, Personality Types and Identity

Theses aspects of a person/human being are different for all but at the same time very real so if someone’s “autism” is just seen as “collective autism” in other words all the “traits” are “autistic” then that reductive way of perceiving will mean that the personhood and associated traits may well be ignored. This will have an impact of self-identity, self-worth and could potentially push these personality types into “disordered extremes” impacting on functioning further.

Looking at the full package of autism that does include personality types and disordered extremes and the inter-relation that have on the person’s perceptions, mental health, identity and reactions to environment.

Paul Isaacs 2017


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Diagnosis – Looking At What “Autism Is” Is That The Future?

I have been is the autism “world” as a speaker, trainer and consultant for well over seven years, I do not pretend to know all the answers nor I do project or promote that I have them all I can only speak from first hand experience of myself and the others that have been involved in professional capacity.

A 3D Diagnosis For The Future?

I what would like to offer a foundation of empowerment not because I know best but to give people the opportunity to find out about their “autism” what is made up of and the “mechanics” that go with it.

I have wrote and documented my autism the fact that is made of being brain injured at birth, speech and language delays, sensory agnosias, aphasia, apraxia the fact that I have dealt with mood, impulsive and anxiety disorders also.

Information processing such as

  • Sensory Agnosias (being Faceblind, Object Blind and/or Meaning Blind)
  • Attention deficits (ADD, ADHD)
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Apraxias (Oral Apraxia, Fine and Gross Motor Apraxia and Dyspraxia)
  • Aphasia (Receptive, Expressive and Mixed)
  • Gut, Immune and Metabolic Disorders
  • Tissue Connectivity Disorders
  • Seizure Disorders
  • Mild Brain Injury (Affecting Developmental Pathways and Trajectories)
  • Sleep Disorders

Identity 

  • Development (Gender, Sexuality, Self Perception, Environment, Viewing yourself and as a “child”, “teenager” or “adult” regardless of chronological age)
  • Adjustment (Family and.or Personal Environment)
  • Disorder Extremes (Personality Types/Traits that are not balanced causing problems with overall functioning)

Psychiatric Co-Morbids

  • Mood Disorders (Emotional Dysregulation
  • Anxiety Disorders (OCD, Social Anxiety, Generalised Anxiety)
  • Psychosis
  • Impulse Control
  • Attachment Disorder
  • Dissociative Disorders

Enviroment 

  • Dietary/Nutrition Disabilities
  • Morning the Child
  • Isolation/Alienation
  • Learned Helplessness (Dependency Personality Disorder/Co-dependency)
  • Presuming  Incompetence
  • “Cat” People vs. “Dog” People (Exposure Anxiety. PDA, ODD RAD)
  • Eating Toothpaste (Gut Disorder and Fluoride Toxicity)

Human Variants of Learning

  • Visual
  • Verbal
  • Logical
  • Physical
  • Aural
  • Solitary
  • Social
  • Mixed

The fact that being borderline made me emotionally unstable, struggled with boundaries and also being schizotypal made me odd, aloof and detached from people and at times society. These “elements” are all about of my “mix” and words not only for these “pieces” empower not only the person in question but the services they come into contact with also family and friends.

 

Fruit Salad 2017

 

Looking Deeper, Looking Forward, Education & Empowerment

I went through my autism “fruit salad” at an event recently and asked if the diagnosis had pointed out the specific pieces how would they have felt? Also would this model benefit them I came to the conclusion yes because understanding  that the word “autism” isn’t  one thing but understanding the pieces of their children’s autism was felt to be very important, helpful, empowering and overall was a beneficiary to the services that they would come in contact with. Giving them not just the word “autism” but what it meant for them specifically.

My Autism Fruit Salad 1 Updated 2017

Autism Fruit Salad 2 2017

Autism Fruit Salad 3 2017

Autism as “Fruit Salad” Video by Donna Williams 

http://www.interactingwithautism.com/section/living/donna

 

Conclusion

“Autism” is not “one thing” it is specific to each person also people do not have an “autistic personality” exclusively although personality types like solitary, idiosyncratic and conscientious would look more “autistic” but are smaller elements in the overall mix.

I do not believe that a person’s autism is everything about them because human beings are made up much  more than one element/label/word.

You can get  “non-autistic” personality types the people that challenge the stereotypes who could be equally adventurous and mercurial in their ways. For 2017 lets look at this from a broader perspective and empower people with knowledge that is worthy of making a difference.

I am not negative about autism but I am realistic and grounded about what the word means. By finding out the mechanics of what is going that is a positive approach to leading a more fuller, healthier more balanced life.

Paul Isaacs 2017