Paul Isaacs' Blog

Autism from the inside


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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 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


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Be “You” In Your Dreamscapes

Be the the person you are, be the person that is, be the person that is the real you, be the person that is both insignificant but relevant, a failure but a success and be treaded in the infinite pathways of a novice and let go of perceptions of being an worldly expert.

Paul Isaacs 2020


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Autism, Unpicking Trauma, Dissociation & Getting A Sense Of Actual Self

Note This from a personal perspective

Language Processing Disorder & Dissociation

It is normal for children to dissociate from their environments to up the to ages of 5 years, old and what I found interesting is that people with a higher level of language processing disorder may be more prone to going in and out of dissociative states. I was subjected to unintentional trauma through language and being spoken to directly this was secondary to exposure anxiety.

This meant there were pockets of both derealisation which is to separate from the environment around YOU and derealisation in which you separate from SELF.

This happened before I gained functional speech which again would on some developmental level have an impact my association with speech (echolalia was more fluid in phonics) and trying to speak on a “interpretative level” was stilted and laboured.

Dissociative Disorder Nos & Creating “Characters “

A dissociate disorder NOS (not otherwise specified) is a disorder that includes a dissociative symptom (i.e., a disruption in the usually integrated functions of consciousness, memory, identity, or perception of the environment) that does not meet the criteria for any specific dissociative disorder. “Not otherwise specified” disorders are those that don’t fit into any existing diagnostic categories and are generally rare.

By John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

Belinda- The Strong Assertive Persona

This female persona came about and was “born” through the judgement and ignorance of others where I lived, although my verbal skills weren’t very good and people where blaming my parents for my behaviour on their behaviour as parents, and the school was very concerned about me.

When my skills persisted and progressed the first word weren’t be me, but her she was directive, to the point and would fight for me she was on my side, in world where nobody was on my side nor my parents. I often refer to Belinda as the Guardian Persona or The Keeper of the Gates“.

She is strong and assertive, she gets things done, she like problems resolved and also likes to help others in need, some of these traits are from the “core self”, but the person she is based on is my Mum hence the picture to your left. (she is wearing a tweed jacket which is multi-coloured she looks strong and confident).

Peter- The Passive Introverted Persona

This male persona was based very much on the passivity of both my Grandfather and Father both whom have had issues with dealing and managing issues in a similar ways. It was at this time at CAMHS, this alter was evading and would not be able to accept help with issues and would presume, respond and act like everything was OK.

This alter is shy and retreating doesn’t open up to people easily (as opposed to the confidence and drive “Belinda”), this would cause problems with understanding on both sides during my time at CAMHS in late childhood, they didn’t recognise the Autism nor were they recognising that as coping mechanism for the situations that I was dissociating.

The picture on the left is of my Grandfather in late childhood (sepia toned picture, my Gramp with a worried grin on his face), he is about 10 years old. Many of the personality traits of “Peter” come from him and how he dealt with problems.

Mr.G – The “Child/Elfin” Persona

“Mr G” is a child/elfin persona which was created very early through observations and just looking at my surroundings during the time between early and late childhood.

“Mr G” became very prominent as a coping mechanism for the bullying in the workplace during my first job at the age of 16. He has many traits which are to do with being free and expressive, he likes to copy in an echolalic and echopraxic fashion and enjoys “silly” humour and have fun. He is an expression of many things. The other two personas do have very strong characteristics but perhaps “Mr.G’s” sense of being and why is the most poignant.

Personality Types Across The Characters

As you can see by all three descriptions all three “characters” have a function in terms of personalty types, traits, and functions. The female character fits the idiosyncratic personality type, the male character fits the serious and self sacrificing personality type, the child character fits the mercurial personality type.

ADDICTION TO TRAUMA

Some traumatized people remain preoccupied with the trauma at the expense of other life experiences137,141 and continue to re-create it in some form for themselves or for others. War veterans may enlist as mercenaries,128 victims of incest may become prostitutes,47,120,125 and victims of childhood physical abuse seemingly provoke subsequent abuse in foster families53 or become self-mutilators143a Still others identify with the aggressor and do to others what was done to them.21,39 Clinically, these people are observed to have a vague sense of apprehension, emptiness, boredom, and anxiety when not involved in activities reminiscent of the trauma. There is no evidence to support Freud’s idea that repetition eventually leads to mastery and resolution. In fact, reliving the trauma repeatedly in psychotherapy may serve to re-enforce the preoccupation and fixation.

http://www.cirp.org/library/psych/vanderkolk/

Sexual Abuse , Night Terrors & Trauma

An isolated incident of sexual abuse happened to me when I was teenager, this went and was buried deep in my unconscious mind until I developed nightmares in 2013.

Prior to this I was repeating the act on my body for during my late teens with no connection to why. I used to cry in overwhelm as my body and mind (conscious and unconscious) were in disconnect other information processing challenges such as a lack of internal mentalising, visual perceptual disorders, alexithymia and body agnosias aided in this problem with making this important connection.

I was referred to mental health services and dismissed these “nightmares” as anything “real” this meant that closure had to be done on my own terms. I decided to go to the place in which it happened, stood there for some time head bowed in reflection then I walked away and slowly felt a sense of validation and closure.

I have not doubt that this incident has had an impact on the way I view my identity and sexuality, because in many ways it has and to come to terms with that is very difficult but is was a necessary effect on my part to come to a point of complete closure.

Conclusion

The positive news is that I feel more “connected” these days it has taken me well over ten years, since I was in my early twenties to understand and be introspective to myself and gain a greater understanding of not just how I work but most importantly why I work the way I do (imperfections and all). I would not change a thing as life is teacher and I took the time to learn from it.

“Remember be the person you ARE, not the person you were TOLD to BE.

Paul Isaacs 2020


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The System of Sensing, Inverted Trauma & Dissonance

The System of Sensing

Is a world a still live in its world before ego, before conscious mind, before self and other, before interpretation of your sensory world it is where things are FELT, first it is a world of pattern, theme and feel, it is ethereal, not quite tangible in a logical and literal sense but very much about togetherness and the mergence.

FEEL speak is experienced by all human beings its called being baby in which your nervous system is underdeveloped, its sensory systems are young and interpretation of these senses isn’t there.

For me being profoundly meaning blind and meaning deaf meant that I lived this system (and continue to do so) for a far longer time, this mean I could merge with things, people and places.

Sensing Emotions, Trauma & Dissonance

If some one was to MERGE with someone on a sensing level that is picking up on frequencies that the other person may not be aware of this can mean I can get confused about “self emotions” and “other emotions”, I have unknown awareness of someone because I can SEE them in all their rawness it is beyond cladding, false projection, lying an manipulation.

I can FEEL peoples energies and I can put them into two camps.

Connected With The Sensing World

“Straight & Grounded” these people’s feel speak is well connected, they are natural empaths (who may also be able to sense), their interpretive “speak” marries up with their “feel” speak, I sense fluidity and balance and my communication does in general flow much better because their isn’t dissonance. I tend not to overly apologise to these people, can be assertive and not be triggered by exposure anxiety.

Disconnected With The Sensing World (to differing degrees and reasons)

“Wobbley & Uprooted” these people’s feel speak is not as well connected, they may be extremely empathetic but disconnected from their emotions in some shape or form (information processing, trauma, personality disorder and/or identity crisis) or they they have empathy erosion, they may well have learned to overly rely on the “interpretive system” to hide from themselves due to trauma and/or be deceptive and overly use this “interpretive” system for personal gain.

So these people do two things with the empathics I MERGE with their trauma to the point in which it is MINE on a sensing level and/or if they have empathy erosion they trigger my exposure anxiety and “self” gets protected.

My communication style for both the empathic and non-empathic people in this camp is stilted, laboured, I tend to apologise more and there is less fluidity because the cladding usually contradicts the feeling. I usually “go along” with interpretive thread regardless of if I want to or not. I on some level feel great empathy for them many of them are on journeys in their own right and I have since learned that MERGEING can in turn cause PROJECTION in which I sense the dissonance feedback BACK to the person. This is what I call the mirror effect. (for obvious reasons). If they consciously interpret this they may think that is MY Trauma.  

This causes me great stress and pain and I can get emotional dysregulation.

Dissonance In People Who’s Perceived and Actual Self are Warped

I tend to “sense” people who lie, manipulate and who are superficial because that is based on the ability to use you interpretive system to “pretend” you are something you aren’t, these people can be lost, lonely, friendly, confused, lack a firm sense of self and on the other hand they can be narcissistic, selfish, ego-focused and shallow.

I have a real personal peeve with people whom lie (as a form of control, emotional manipulation). Because I can see it.

Paul Isaacs 2020


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When The Clouds Move In

In the universe of the social media what does one put when someone is so low and depressed? Is it a false currency to type your feelings? Is it not correct to extract your thoughts onto a wider medium? Is it merely seen as a chance to get some sort of gratification or social supply from the amount of reactions and comments that come under your status?

I am depressed at the moment and the depression doesn’t seem to give me time to get grounded, its saps my energy, tailors my perceptions, distorts my mood and thought processes yet I still come out with a smile, a false sense of connecting, being in a room full of people and the walls come crashing in as the bleaked aloneness comes towards your words become ash, people become shadows and you wish to run away from the vessel you live in from day to day.

I have never since my teens felt such a state of melancholy, despair or detachment from the world around, pessimism rises from its tomb, nihilism jabs at my mind and hopelessness dominates as I plunder into the void once again. Maybe if I spoke up more about such feelings I would be privy to a listening ear? Maybe if I shed more tears I would get a sense of comfort from a friend? I know not what the future holds none of us do but at this moment in time the darkness follows me everywhere the omnipresence suffocates my soul and creativity.

Maybe all I want is for someone to see me as a human being, not a catalogue of facts about autism, maybe I would like someone to recognise my challenges and difficulties as I am made to understand theirs? Maybe I just want my perspective to acknowledged and validated regardless of it being right or wrong.

I do not like living a “half-life” between the void and the false pretence of happiness in my current state. If people think I am seeking a hollow sense of attention so be it but writing for me does extract the cusp of the matters, so I say to you if you feel down, low, depressed or otherwise please tell someone it may not sort out the root of the problem but it could be the start of doing so.

Paul Isaacs 2019


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Donna Williams’ Autism Fruit Salad – Bridging the Medical and Social Model of Disability

When Donna published “Autism: The Inside Out Approach” in 1996 it was the beginning of a trail-blazing analogy which would look at autism from the factual, compassionate and directional angle.

Looking Outside The Box

It would ditch rhetoric, confirmation bias and group think it would challenge people views (rightly or wrongly) about autism as a singular condition but look at it through the lens as a multi-faceted condition in which the person has their own unique “pieces” which would present differently from person to person.

Setting A Fluid Framework

She quite rightly humanised medical conditions that present themselves as apart of someones autism such as visual perceptual disorders such as faceblindness, simultagnosia and semantic agnosia and expand on the themes of context blindness in pragmatic but emotionally binding way.

Breaking The “Status Quo”

She would advocate for people who had severe apraxia and aphasia as a part of their autism and would need facilitated communication and assisted communication tools. She would advocate for people who struggled with ABA programs which triggered exposure anxiety.

She would challenge the status quo of “all people with autism think in pictures” or “all people with autism are logical literal thinkers”. She would advocate for people with health conditions as a part of their autism.

Equalism

She would quite rightfully not tolerate internalised bigotry within the autism world and would promote a heart warming and expanding message of egalitarianism in which means equality for all which is not just said but put into practice in a person’s daily life.

Let her videos, blogs and books inform you and empower you for in the end what she wanted out of you was to the be the best version of yourself.

Paul Isaacs 2019


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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