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Autism from the inside


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Anna Kennedy System of Sensing & Mental Health Workshops Videos Parts 1 & 2

Overview

I presented video workshops on the system of sensing, coined by the late Donna Williams in the presentations I spoke and covered as follows:

  • What is the system of Sensing?
  • What is the system of Interpretation?
  • What is the system of “Ego”?
  • What is the “Real world vs. Hierarchy?” 
  • How the Nervous System Decodes Sensory Information.
  • What is Mergence?
  • Is it a place we all (human beings) come from?

The System of Sensing & Mental Health Workshop Part 1

 

 

The System of Sensing & Mental Health Workshop Part 2

 

Donna Williams Interview about the System of Sensing Autism and Asperger’s Experiences

NANCY BEKHOR:

The term, NONVERBAL seems to have a different meaning in the following two contexts of autism

1) Highly logical individuals, with so called ‘Asperger Syndrome’, who have difficulty with understanding the ‘non verbal’ aspect of conventional speech. This shows up, for example, as missing the ‘joke’ or sarcasm… basically where words themselves do not convey %100 of meaning intended.

2) On the other hand, the ‘non verbal’ realm, which you speak of in your book, Autism and Sensing, is a mode of information communicated by feeling, intuition, sensation… a place of art, ‘knowing without asking or learning’ (as with savants). Here the more typical individual has difficulty understanding.

Are these 2 different meanings or different degrees of non-verbal?

DONNA WILLIAMS:
They are definitely two different experiences entirely.

There is NONVERBAL LANGUAGE DISORDER (disorder in NONVERBAL language systems such as body language, intonation, facial expression) and being FUNCTIONALLY NON VERBAL. Totally different conditions. Though those who have one can also have the other or have only one of these… same as one can have blond hair and be short or one or the other.

Asperger’s & Social Emotional Agnosia 

Now Social Emotional Agnosia seen in Aspergers is a NONVERBAL LANGUAGE DISORDER and means people can’t naturally perceive any meaning to facial expression, body language, intonation unless overtly taught it. This leads them to compensate through logic, intellect and because they generally don’t easily sense this missing realm they develop high intellect rather than high ability to sense pattern, theme, feel.

Autism Sensory Perceptual Disorders & Language Perception Processing

By contrast those with significant sensory or sensory perceptual deficits are not necessarily impaired in the social-emotional realm so it is more natural for them to expand into that realm as a compensation for sensory or sensory perceptual deficits. This is whether because they are blind, deaf, deaf-blind or the perceptual equivalents of meaning deaf (verbal agnosia), meaning blind (visual agnosia) or both.

In other words human beings can be more or less sensing, but if they ALSO have significant sensory or sensory perceptual deficits AND they have no neurological obstacles to sensing (such as Social Emotional Agnosia) then they will be reasonably more likely to become more highly reliant on sensing pattern, theme, feel through whichever sensory perceptual systems are still intact.

So it HAPPENS that there is no sensory perceptual reason for Aspies to be FUNCTIONALLY NONVERBAL in the sense of being speechless. But those who have significant meaning deafness and meaning blindness may have significant struggles to acquire SEMANTICS to speech and will then lack the PRAGMATICS too. Depending on personality and whether they do or don’t additionally have Oral Dyspraxia, Speech Aphasia or Selective Mutism, those with significant meaning deafness/meaning blindness will often be echolalic. Many who have speech and communication disorders (including echolalia) will then be more subject to secondary Selective Mutism. So it HAPPENS that those most likely to become highly sensing as a COMPENSATORY ADAPTATION for significant sensory perceptual disorders will also be those most likely to be functionally non-verbal.

Saying that, SOME will develop fluent type-speaking and some have progressed to functional speech and still remain highly sensing.

Donna Williams 2010

Paul Isaacs 2020


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What Is Friendship?

 

Sometimes what is needed in this tempest most consumed in the worldly minds of others, is to know that someone else of equal candour whom maybe going through the same experiences offers out their gift of listening. To wipe away the tears of depthful melancholy when you feel your body is enveloped in bitter tear drops, to show them yourself at moment when the mirrormind is cracked, to open doors that have been bolted with rust and to give you new feathers so you can fly once more.

As I have been unpicking the system of sensing theory, it has become apparent that mergence of feeling is a beautiful way to connect however one must be thoughtful to each other’s learning process’.

After decades I finally understand the perspective of having a true and meaningful friendship with balance, love and humility, I have all ways sensed this (through bonding) and if there is any a wonderful time to know it. The time is now.

I have learnt something today is that space is as much valuable form of love, care and consideration as being there which is of equal validity.

I apparently have this “skill” of mergence but need to know how to manage, regulate, monitor and use it. I love to help people, empower and to try and be objective which is an important process.

I like people for their raw energy, honesty, humility and empathy and I as people must and try to give them something back.

Paul Isaacs 2020


In The Last Ten Years

Looking Back

The last ten years have been very intersting in 2009 I was recently out of the Mental Health Services with two personality disorders, auditory hallucinations and psychosis, I was self harming and attempted suicide.

Early Infancy

By clinical observations I was serverely autistic, I was profoundly meaning deaf, meaning blind, body disconnected, oral apraxic and didn’t gain functional speech till later in infancy. I was and am thankful to my parents who had no means of any interventions (in the late 80s many were dated).

In 2010 I was diagnosed with autism and OCD and my speaking career started off in which I went freelance in 2015.

“Standards of Success”

By “non-autistic” standards I “made it” in many ways I suppose. I was considered “retarded” by the village I lived in and was targeted and bullied by the children and adults till my mid-teens.

Education

I was targeted and bullied at school from primary to secondary when I finally left in 2002 (with an isolated incident of sexual abuse) in the latter.

I went on to do an ICT coursecfor a year and had the greatest experience of my life from and educational perspective it proved I could be educated.

Bullying and Employment

The bullying in employment started in 2002/3 so multiple jobs were lost and gained.

I was thankful to the autism base in Chinnor in around 2008/9 for supporting me as well as the start of my speaking career in 2010. Over that period of time I wrote and authored 5 books.

The bullying in employment stopped in 2015 when I went freelance and started working for My World.

This is longest time in employment that I have been safe, comfortable and seen as a part of the team.

I Am A Person-First

People wonder why I use “person-first language” this is why because I do not want to be defined by a “label”. I do not like serperatist “them and us, us and them” rhetoric we (as beings) are all a part of the human race

From 2013 onwards to now I am pleased to have met some of the most wonderful and friendly people in both my personal and professional life.

Love and Life

I lost my Gramp in March 2017 due to metatastic prostate cancer, one of my dearest friends and mentors Polly (Donna Williams) in April that year also to metatastic breast cancer and my Nan in December 2019 due to pneumonia. I shall always cherish my fondest memories of them.

I almost lost my Dad in 2011 due to chronic lymphocytic leukemia and then meningitis in 2018 as well as my Mum in May 2019 due to a complex thrombotic disease.

Creative Mindsets

I have had great fun dabbling in art, poetry and what I call “insta-modelling” in which to my surprise and support from my friends up north has been rather enjoyable!

I have been interested in androgyny for many years prior and have been told I look as such.

One of things I can do well is pluck my eyebrows which I consider an achievement as much as anything else! 😉

Conclusion

So look beyond what is here, look beyond what is heard, what is seen, what is touched and sense people because every cherished little person is special and of equal valor and humility in this world.

Paul Isaacs 2020


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Autism & Identity

I have never seen all of my being as autistic because the word is an adjective a describing word of an experience.

Current Experiences

I experience face blindness, object blindness and meaning blindnessas I do a language processing disorder, hemiplegia, body agnosias and associated learning difficulties.

Past-Tense Experiences

There are also experiences in the past tense such as over coming oral apraxia, high levels of exposure anxiety, selective mutism and gaining functional speech although it was a long road to doing so.

Personality Types

I have personality types such as Mercurial, Idiosyncratic, Self-Sacrificing and Serious (all human beings have personality types of varying types).

Conclusion

Autism is not ALL it is PART OF I see myself as a person a patchwork quilt made of many things. Autism just “is” I am neither proud nor ashamed. I seek balance not objectification. 😊

Paul Isaacs 2019


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Negative and Positive Self-Perception – It is More Than Just Placement?

I will set the scene

IMAG0276Imaging going into the a room what do you take into that room? Your body? Your soul? Your mind? In many ways you take everything in to that space not the other way round (although at times it feels like it).

The room itself is a “thing” with “things” it no people just you.

One day you go into the room and you feel low, depressed and unsure of yourself the ground and foundations are shaky and/or non-existent the room perpetually “feels” different.

The next day you are feeling happy, with high spirits, feeling good and positive your mind is clear and you foundations are firm within your mind the room again “feels” different.

In reality the room never changed nor the things in it but you did – the power of the mind is so powerful it can effect the inner perceptions the surrounding you are in I find that to be both amazing potentially terrifying at the same time.

One thing is for you sure when in doubt how ever hard it is to reach, however long it takes remember you are in control.

Paul Isaacs 2015