Paul Isaacs' Blog

Autism from the inside


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Autism, Bullying & Mental Health – Personal Perspectives

This from a personal perspective on Autism and Mental Health 

SITUATIONAL & ENVIRONMENTAL 

From as long as I can remember I was bullied – this came in many forms verbal, physical, emotional/psychological and one instance sexual.

It started at around 5 Years old this point I wasn’t functionally verbal it ranged from instances of verbal humiliation from the local place were I lived, taunts, swearing and so forth to more confrontational approaches such as throwing objects at me, taunting me with nails wrapped in a someone fist (this happened during an altercation at a “kissing gate” which is a gate in a field), threats of harm and death/being killed were even on the cards as well as my family being included as well.

This sort of abuse went on for many years on my local area – it also happened on the way to school via public transport taunts and set-ups were a way of getting my attention but of course it was much more than that.

Family Photo Early 90s 2SCHOOL – PRIMARY EDUCATION 

At Primary School when functionally verbal speech (in year 4) came I was subjected to humiliation by teachers this would include having one to one meetings with the then headteacher. This is were my dissociative disorders started as a way of “self protection” with no parental support (as they were not told of these meetings), being told to walk in “a line”  in a class of silent observant children as this would help with my “walking” and learnt with my first experiences of talking that is was to protect not that is was a way of having a interaction that was balanced nor “normal”.

The last year of Primary School was when I was being bullied by a teacher this cased severe mental disturbances such as anxiety and mood disorders, continued dissociative disorders, depression, somatisation, psychosis (imagining my body “was melting”)  (bad tummies,  stomach cramps, headaches, jaw-ache, toothache) these were perceived to be real by me but they were result at this point of over 7 years of bullying from different places people and origins some I dread to thing where they came from. This lead to me being in mental health services for the first time.

Holiday Early 2000s1SECONDARY EDUCATION 

In the first two weeks bullying started and this took a different turn it would be about my appearance (weight, looks, face, teeth, nose etc) so this lead my down the path of eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, body dysmorphia, emotional dysfunction due to alexithymia and bouts of mutism (due also to information processing and exposure anxiety) and further dissociative episodes  – it also came in the guise of two teachers commenting about me becoming upset and going to the reception in tears. Two teachers used humiliation tactics in front of my classmates with regards to this behaviour of course this was to with emotional processing and went on for approximately a year.

SEXUAL ABUSE

About two years I started having flashbacks (fragmented visions), night terrors and panic attacks what came to a head was an incident of a sexual nature when I was in my mid-teens a form of PTSD emerged with the “false memory”  being “unpicked”. I have no doubt this has had an sub-concious affect on how I view myself, my gender, my sexuality and the way in which I view sex but thankfully I through in this in both coming to terms with it and moving on.

Me Early 20s 1WORKPLACE

From the years of fifteen onwards I had been bullied in the workplace this came in the forms of name-calling, taunts, covert tactics, not being listened too, diversion tactics, gas-lighting to just plain insincerity and nastiness. This can have a dramatic affect how one perceives relationships both personal and professional. This has a dramatic affect on the way in which I viewed work and people in adulthood. I wrote a suicide letter wanting to the end the seemingly endless pain of existing this happened in the late 2000s. And was in adult mental health services.

DAMAGED “GOODS” TO BEING “AFFECTED”

Along with my Autism profile I have had sadly a string of negative situations. I no doubt that it has damaged me, it seems for the last 25 years I have had a torrent of negative behaviours that have affect my perception and my self worth but I live in hope that I can and will get through this and also learn from these situations. I want it to go from damaged to affected. I have the drive to do so.

BE BALANCED & FRIENDSHIP

I value being balanced the clarity in which it brings and the positively that it brings, agreement, disagreement and having a transparent and fluid view on lift – I still wear “my heart on my sleeve” which means I am open and honest about things sadly this can be a problem in certain situations of trust and can has has been used against me but it again goes back to my point of being balanced and regaining connections and perceptions of what true friendships and connections are something that I didn’t have in my early years.

A VICTIM OF NARCISSISM?

I have been from the perspective of being  honest and truthful – an reverse tactics (the “victim” of the circumstance becomes the “nuisance” & “enemy” and must be stopped at all costs! – however how that can be depends on the person in question it can overt to covert and passive-aggressive (via gossiping, mixing lies with the truth and blatant lies) such as avoidance by others or the person’s themselves, getting people “on side”, spying and gossiping and “getting information” this can also lead to the person who is in “right” by character to slowly become the person who is “wrong”.

This blog I can relate to this and the a blog about this entitled Are you being used as a flying monkey for a narcissist? There have been many a time were I have entrusted personal information to people who I thought I could trust only for it to be used against and spun.

Balanced and empathic people will not seek to to do this they will want transparency, fluidised connections and an openness.

CREATIVITY & POSITIVITY 

Through my poems, pictures and writings it has fuelled this aspect of my being and has been both my friend and confidant in all sorts of emotional tides. I am by no means perfect, I want no pity and I am  not a victim through this is what I have learnt the importance of trust, healthy relationships and friendships, failure, truth, being, living and having a laugh at yourself those things to me are important. 🙂

Toyah – It’s A Mystery 

Paul Isaacs 2015


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Showing The Positive & Meaningful Realities of FC – Video Project By Les Cope

OVERVIEW – In Les’ Words

So am asking all who I are mentioned so far to give me their permission to use their image or images. Respond to this post please. Everyone will have a opportunity to see and approve their image in the draft movie before it goes live. There are many others who I am aware of who do not have images on this site. Would be very powerful to showcase as many people as possible.

I have yet to consider the best way to put these together but having images evolving and merging together with relevant text. Short burst of words and poetic lines written by the individuals would be great. If someone is seen with family, playing a musical instrument or painting relating text could be used. Or any other activity where facilitation plays a small or key part. Apart from communication these are other things ISAAC seems to not want to know about. The final movie will accompany the petition we put up in change.org.

If you have images of yourself and want to be part of this please post onto this thread. Try and aim for high resolution and clarity please. If possible the image could be accompanied with a short section of your writing. Just a few lines can be powerful. If you know of others who could be included and may miss this post please draw it to their attention.

Thanks Les.

All Forms Of Communication Are Valid & Meaningful

I feel that everybody should have the right to communicate no matter what way it is shown and/or expressed Les’ words are very true and his drives and emotive words are just that people who use FC and/or AAC are using this as a genuine, meaningful, productive and integrative form of communication with their family, friends and loved ones.

If people would like to be about of this project who have family members, friends or are a person who uses FC and/or AAC Please contact Les wither on Facebook and his website.

Paul Isaacs 2014


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Autism Should Not Have A Fashionable “Look”

Me ToddlerEven in the “Autism World” there are (even if there shouldn’t be) fashions in morality, fashions in what Autism “should” look like and what it “shouldn’t” look like and if you are out and don’t fit in you’re directly or indirectly cast aside.

People with Autism and a Learning Disability suffer from this the most because the judgement of their “intelligence” is already put against them – yet they ARE intelligent because they go through specific educational and residential systems, they are in those situations and people could if they wanted to listen to them and their parents.

Paul Isaacs  2014


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Please Include Everyone On The Autism Spectrum, Listening Is Positive & No One Person Can Speak For Everyone On the Autism Spectrum

Sensory Explorer

 

 

 

 

 

OVERVIEW

I suppose I feel this needs to be said – “what about?”  That is the question I feel compelled to ask it when it comes to the “Autism World”  I feel there needs to be more positive and inclusive opportunities/voices for people with Classic autism with or without a Learning Disability – they deserve to have their say, as do their parents and their loved ones it’s out of fairness? Surely?

THE FORGOTTEN

I write this in fear that these folks are forgotten when they are the people who are in specialist/residential services. These people are warriors believe me and they have to be acknowledged more. I have classic Autism and a Learning Disability but I’m not speaking (and can’t)  for everyone who has this diagnosis. (that would be unfair). 

INCLUSION FOR ALL – LISTENING

I am pointing out that they need a platform to speak/communicate their needs and opinions.  They’re clever, intuitive, intelligent folks with a lot to give and people can learn a lot in the process.  Let their personhood’s shine.  🙂 Let’s listen.

THE PROBLEM WITH GROUP THINK

Don’t be afraid to go against the grain and be “the ol ‘square peg” this I why all people on the spectrum should have their opinions heard, profiles acknowledged (in a balanced manner and fair manner) and personhood recognised first. 🙂 I can only speak about my profile and how Autism is for me I cannot speak for others that would misleading and unfair that is why I don’t say us and we during my presentations, but I and me. If people relate to it excellent if they don’t that is excellent to – I learn from others on the spectrum to because all profiles are diverse and different. 🙂

MILITANCY & BUILDING BRIDGES

Lets strip militancy, bullying and dictatorial behaviors it causes so many problems for people. By having a beautiful mixture of balanced views (in which people can agree and disagree in a healthy manner) from people with Asperger’s Syndrome, Autism, with and without a Learning Disability, Users of alternate communication, Parents, Professionals, Educational staff it creates positive energy. Everyone has a story to tell. 🙂

TOO MANY POLITICS

Giving all folks on the spectrum a chance is so needed, lets strip all the politics out of it and listen to people’s hearts and experiences from all folks on the spectrum in equal measure – that would be lovely. 🙂

MY STANCE ON AUTISM POLITICS

I have said before that I’m not a a “curist” and I’m not an “ablist” but a “neutral” because I believe everyone has a story to tell without going to unhealthy extremes if we listened with our hearts we would learn about each others experiences.

DON’T BE DEFINED BY AUTISM – BE “YOU”

See someone with Autism as a person not a set of “traits and symptoms” – this isn’t out of militancy that I say this but out of compassion and dignity – everyone is a person so therefore everyone is equal (even if people for what ever reason don’t treat someone with equality) – I’m not “special” because of my Autism nor I’m “unique” I’m just a person living/being the greatest gift is to give someone the dignity of being recognised as a person. I don’t belong to any “club” or “group” because I don’t want to be defined by it – I live my life as free as possible and as diverse as possible. 

Paul Isaacs 2014


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Dr Michelle Garnett – Speech Review Tony Attwood Autism & Asperger’s Conference 2014

Michelle Garnett Picture

Dr Michelle Garnett

Special Thanks To Prof. Tony Attwood & Dr. Michelle Garnett

DR. GARNETT’S REVIEW OF SPEECH

“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.”

 

Thank You For Your Work & Review 🙂

 

Dr Michelle Garnett ‘The Affection Project’ at Mind & Its Potential 2012

MINDS & HEARTS CLINIC

 

Paul Isaacs 2014

 


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My Autie Books 5 – Autism: Inside Perceptions of Communication, Interaction, Thoughts & Feelings

Autism Inside Perseptions Official ImageOVERVIEW

“Autism: Inside Perceptions of Communication, Interaction, Thoughts & Feelings”

Foreword By Susan Rowling

BOOK DESCRIPTION

This book is a collection of reflections and thoughts from a person on the Autism spectrum and their perspective on many different topics of life: communication, employment, selfhood, selflessness and how a person on the Autism spectrum interacts and processes the world around them. It deals with many of the issues (both internal and external and from a personal perspective) that many people with autism have to deal with one way or another in their lives. It also gives a foundation of what a person with autism can gain through experience and self-reflection on certain things that have happened in their lives. The author would like to inspire hope, drive and positivity to people on the spectrum and provide the thought that happiness and helping others is truly the key.

AMAZON.COM

AMAZON.CO.UK

Paul Isaacs 2014


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James Billett – Visual Stress Consultant – Helping Others Perceive The World

ABOUT JAMES BILLETT

james_billett

James Billett 

James was a Special Needs Co-ordinator in a  secondary school for more than 20 years.

James first trained with the Irlen Institute in 1990.

“When I made a career move from teaching A-level sociology to being responsible for special needs provision, which included what was then known as the remedial department, it became obvious that many children were confined to lower sets or failing to reach their potential through reading skill deficiencies.  Using multi-sensory reading schemes we found coloured overlays had  an immediate and  positive effect. Once the symptoms of Irlen Syndrome were eliminated students  were able to learn to read using the phonics method.”

James became an visual stress diagnostician in 1995. James left teaching to work privately in 2002.

Irlen Central England works with families, colleges, universities and government agencies across Britain and Europe. James travels extensively across Europe working with clients on the autistic spectrum.

In his spare time James enjoys spending time with his family and  grandchildren. He is a keen gardener and plays the piano.

BA (Hons) (University of Leicester)

BA (Hons) Cert Ed. (University of Birmingham)

Diploma in the Psychology and Education of Children with Special Needs (University of London)

James also holds an advanced qualification from the Irlen Institute for working within the autistic spectrum.

OVERVIEW

James Billett I first met in the summer of 2012 for an appointment to fit my tinted lenses to help me with learning difficulties and sensory perceptual disorders  that I have within my Autism “Fruit Salad”.

What I like about James is that he is very person centred and takes into account these important aspects

  • Communication Profile
  • Sensory Profile
  • Sensory Difficulties/Learning Difficulties
  • Information Processing

I feel this opens the doors for integration, empowerment and trust within the appointment and also honesty and connectivity to explore your issues and what best works for you. I believe that James has a lot to give through this very positive ethos.

Life Through A Kaleidoscope

Life Through A Kaleidoscope

LIFE THROUGH A KALEIDOSCOPE  JAMES BILLETT – CO-AUTHOR

James is also the co-author of Life Through A Kaleidoscope his knowledge, ethos, humanity, calmness and empowerment bring a critical bonding and the “glue” between personal and professional points of view within the book, I could not of written this book without his knowledge this book is also inspired by the works of Donna Williams who has written extensively about Autism and sensory perceptual disorders.

CONCLUSION

James has brought light into the lives of people who were deemed not worthy (me included) of integration within the world of education, work and the community by building bridges of understanding this will help others understand others and so forth

Thanks James for what you do and the positivity you bring. 🙂

Paul Isaacs  2014


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Colour Coding for Learners with Autism By Adele Devine

Copyright Adele Devine

Copyright Adele Devine

OVERVIEW

I had the honor of looking through and endorsing this book, what I like about this book is that it has helped me understand what life can be like for visual learners on the Autism Spectrum (I learn through movement and don’t have a visual memory), this book it clearly laid out with hints, tips, productive strategies, informative quote and writings from people on the spectrum.

Adele clearly has a passion for helping visual thinkers/processors on the Autism spectrum. 🙂

Highly recommended. 🙂

COLOUR CODING FOR LEARNERS WITH AUTISM

Paul Isaacs 2014


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Autism, Dissociation, Exposure Anxiety & Understanding Criticism

Paul Long Crendon1

Overview

This is from my Personal Perspective of Autism, Dissociation & Exposure Anxiety

Autism And Information Processing

During my younger years I was in mainstream education despite having obvious early signs of Autism speech and language delay. receptive, expressive language processing challenges and visual perceptual disorders. My Autism wasn’t recognised until adulthood.

Primary School And Emotional Triggers

During my Primary School years after I gained functional speech between the ages 7/8 years old so this was between 1993 and 1994 (I had the expressive language of a 3 year old and poor receptive language).

I was subjected to heavy bouts of criticism and bullying – I now understand that was done in a unprofessional and unproductive manner the headteacher at school had one to one meetings with me during this time (with no mentor or advocate). Telling me all my faults, mishaps, wrong behaviours and problems with me.

Due to problems integrating and managing incoming information I was unable to take such comments on the personal.

Also one has to note that the teachers frame of refrence is all they could got by.

Dissociation, Exposure Anxiety And Primary School

For me this was too much exposure of self (something Donna Williams talks about Exposure Anxiety) I had a lack of awareness of “self” and “other” so I dissociated creating a “persona” to deal and cope with the barrage of information this “persona” would deal with this conflict because “I” couldn’t.

This went on up until the last year of school different teachers comment either to me or to my parents about my “odd” behaviour.

When I was referred to child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) in 1996 during my last year of school I was suffering from a “nervous throat” and childhood depression in the meetings.

I was to explain about why a particular teacher was bullying me this caused me to created another “persona” to deal with situation the exposure of self and the the information processing was too much however I tried my best to give her the information required.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder And Sexual Abuse At Secondary School

Until very recently I have to process and come to terms with PTSD with regards to an incident that happened at secondary school which resulted in sexual abuse through flashbacks and intrusive nightmares (this is all I can disclose because of personal reasons).

I have know doubt this has subconsciously had an affect on my self-worth, identity but I have come through this rather well and will continue to not be seen as an “object” or “thing”.

Criticism – It Is Needed

Now we come full circle I know that my negative exposure to extreme criticism during my educational years has had an affect on what I subconsciously associate with what criticism is.

In my head I like and want to be challenged criticised as it is needed for all human beings it is about

  • Give and take
  • Other peoples views (not just you own)
  • Validity for all
  • Equality for all
  • Fairness for all

Dissociation & Negative Associations

However “my body, face and mouth” don’t seem to connect with my “head” and I would dissociate quickly with the “persona ” that wascreated over ten years ago to deal with the perceived attack (PTSD).

My Mum has observed my face changes as do my eyes. This doesn’t however mean I’m not challenged although externally that would seem to be the case.

How I Cope With This

Firstly recognising where it comes from and for me personally and staying true what is my “head” is saying I like and want to be challenged criticised as it is needed for all human beings.

It is about give and take, other people’s views (not just you own), validity, equality and fairness and in turn dealing with therapy on how to cope with dissociation and what my body is doing and feeling like when my consciousness is taking step backwards.

By understanding this I can move and take a step forwards in a positive and productive manner. 🙂

AUTISM & DISSOCIATION PAGE

DONNA WILLIAMS’ DISSOCIATION PAGE

AUTISM & DISSOCIATION BLOG

PTSD

THOUSAND YARD STARE

Everybody voice deserves to heard 🙂 Everybody deserves to challenged in a productive manner too. 🙂

Paul Isaacs 2014


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Autism & Mythbusting – Challenging the Stereotypes  

OVERVIEW

So the post below about why I have Autism and a Learning Disability – What is that all about?  Mythbusting, demystifying and unrevealing the tired old stereotypes that still persist in the Autism world, were negative sometimes even militant memes exist and the “one voice for all” is hailed as king, no one can speak for everyone that is impossible but we can all help each other

DIVERSITY WITHIN THE SPECTRUM – INCLUSION FOR ALL

The spectrum is so vast you have people who speak with their mouth and do or don’t have a Learning Disability you have people who speak and communicate in other ways that do or do not have Learning Disability. 

POSITIVE VOICES ON THE SPECTRUM

I thank people like

Donna Williams

Donna Williams Copyright D.Williams and C. Samuel

Donna Williams Copyright D.Williams and C. Samuel

 

DONNA WILLIAMS’ WEBSITE

DONNA WILLIAMS’ BLOG

DONNA’S BOOKS

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sydney Edmond

Copyright Sydney & Lisa Edmond

Sydney Edmond Copyright Sydney & Lisa Edmond

 

SYDNEY EDMOND’S WEBSITE

SYDNEY EDMOND’S BOOK

SYDNEY & LISA EDMOND VIDEO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Jennifer O’Toole

Jennifer O'Toole Copyright Asperkids

Jennifer O’Toole Copyright Asperkids

 

ASPERKIDS WEBSITE

JENNIFER’S BOOKS

ASPERKIDS’S BLOG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rudy Simone

Rudy Simone 2 jpg

 RUDY SIMONE’S WEBSITE

RUDY’S BOOKS

RUDY’S YOUTUBE CHANNEL

 

 

 

 

 

 Carly Fleischmann

Carly

Carly Fleischmann Copyright Carly & Arthur Fleischmann

 

CARLY FLEISCHMANN’S  WEBSITE

CARLY FLEISCHMANN’S  BOOK

CARLY’S VOICE TWITTER

 

 

 

 

Peyton Goddard 

Peyton Goddard

Peyton Goddard Copyright Peyton & Dianne Goddard

PEYTON GODDARD’S WEBSITE 

PEYTON GODDARD’S BOOK

PEYTON GODDARD’S BLOG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EMPOWERMENT

They all have very empowering messages for people with Autism and balance this out with seeing themselves as people with personalities and valued personhoods that they want to seen for but also want others to understand the diversity of Autism and it’s profiles – giving this back in balance is so needed – I am a person with Autism is far more liberating than saying Autistic Person. 

 

Paul Isaacs  2014