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Autism from the inside


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There Are Two Types of “Social Emotional Agnosia” in Autism

abstract background close up construction

 

“Typical” Social Emotional Agnosia

Social emotional agnosia is the inability to see and/or perceive body language, facial expression and tone of voice, this mean that the person is only “seeing” factual information this rides along side an secondary factors such as a language processing disorder, alexithymia, mood, compulsive and anxiety disorders for example.

This tends to be found in people with a diagnosis of Asperger’ syndrome and is related the right hemisphere for the brain up to 30% also have faceblindness and sensory hypersensitivities.

“Perceptual” Social Emotional Agnosia

If we think of visual information up to 70% of is visual so what if a person simultagnosia? The inability to perceive more than one thing in their visual field rendering the ability to take in “social” information difficult, perceiving faces, objects and surroundings as “pieces”. What if the person has a receptive aphasia, auditory verbal agnosia and cannot retain information secondary to oral apraxia, verbal agnosias, exposure anxiety , mood, compulsive and anxiety disorders for example.

This tends to be found in people with a diagnosis of Autism and is related to the left hemisphere of the brain and the occiptal lobes and sensory perceptual disorders.

Image result for shoes paired Image result for shoes paired

You can have two pairs of shoes that “look” the same but once you look inside them you realise they are different in terms of “mechanics” that would mean differing styles of learning, communication and mentalising will come into play.

Paul Isaacs 2018


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Bucks Autism Conference Video 2015

Note – These are from personal and obervational perspectives

Sensory Issues in the context of Autism Bucks Autism Conference

This video is about covers these topics

 

Paul Isaacs 2015

 

 

 


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Supermarkets – Autism, Sensory Perception, Impulse Control & Alexithymia

Note this is going to be from a personal perspective of how this affects me.

For me supermarkets are very much I love/hate relationship they are full of things to do primarily shopping for goods that you need for your home or otherwise however the way in which my autism profile works there are issues related to sensory integration, sensory perception, impulse control and emotional recognition.

Sensory Perceptional Issues

In previous posts I have documented how my fragmented vision affects the way in which I “see” and “process” the world around me this includes of course environments in which I am being bombarded by stimuli but one of the things I have to put one hold is the want to touch and experience everything I can within the store – this is not relate to the literal aspect of the what the object is but how it may sound, smell, feel etc, plus getting visual information for me alone is redundant so the irony here is that touch gives me far more “meaning.” than just looking.

Impulse Control Disorder (related to sensory perception)

This impulsivity can include getting “chemical highs” from objects, shimmers, shines, textures, noises, sounds and smells these in some contexts can be very distressing for me but in other contexts they can be alluring and very much a “want” of course a “need” is very different from a “want”.

Alexithymia – Could that be another factor?

Processing incoming emotions (and naming them) for me takes about 24 hours in general and longer depending on the situation. I wonder because I am getting a “bodily high” that is enough for me to get a “feeling” that comes from the outside in spurring on the impulsive want that then relates to impulse control?

Getting grounded

What I have done over the years has been able to self-regulate on a level where even though those a initial bursts may happen I am able to keep on task and do what I have to do.
My tinted lenses help not only with piecing the world together but filtering the lights and giving me clarity.

Headphones and music also help me as this keeps me on topic.
By sorting out what the relevant factors are (and just as importantly what aren’t) it gives and foundation not only of empowerment and ownership for th person but a confidence can challenge themselves in otherwise difficult situations.

Paul Isaacs 2015


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Visual Perceptual Disorders, Visual Agnosias, Motion Perception & Tinted Lenses

Me Looking to Side

 

Please note – this is from a personal perspective of visual perceptual issues 

Eye Tracking 

I met a lady at an autism conference this year who has expertise in sensory integration I described to her how I “see” the world and access it – she said there is a simple test it involves a pen at the midline of your focus and vision as she moves the pen she asks me to track the pen my eyes darted and had to “re-focus” as I could not follow the movement properly and process the visuals either.

Visual Perception Disorders

This would also make sense of why I see things in pieces (simultagnosia), problems processing faces (prosopagnosia), integrating visual information, visual semantic recognition (semantic agnosia). I found this revelation very interesting and informative.

Cortical Visual Impairment/Disorder Article 

Not all types of visual deficits caused by CVI will affect visual acuity. For example, in cortical visual dysfunction (CVD)16, the predominant visual deficit is not visual acuity loss, but rather disturbances in visual perception and integration. In higher-functioning children with CVI or CVD, specific visual disorders such as agnosias may be diagnosed. These include cerebral motion blindness or cerebral akinetopsia (the inability to perceive moving targets), simultanagnosia (the inability to focus on more than one visual object at a time), central achromatopsia16 (color desaturation), prosopagnosia (difficulty in recognizing faces), topographic agnosia (problems with orientation; see section on rehabilitation), and astereocognosis (difficulty with depth perception)17. Thus, although not all children with CVD have associated CVI, certain children with CVI (with loss of visual acuity) may show signs of CVD

“The most common cause of CVI is an hypoxic-ischemic injuryl-3,10,19,20. At least 60% of children with neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy have cerebral visual impairment12. Hypoxia (lack of oxygen) or ischemia (tissue death due to loss of blood flow, and thus oxygen deprivation) in the preterm baby leads to a characteristic injury of the brain, namely periventricular leukomalacia (PVL)21,22, which can be detected by MRI.”

Originally appeared in Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology 2001, 43: 56-60

Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute

Me & Teddy

Me a 6 Months Old

This would make sense of the the following visual perceptual issues I have

  • Akinetophsia (motion blindness) – I believe I could have this as a result of simultagnosia (a problem with visually processing integrating the whole picture) this can lead to a “juddering” effect with my vision
  • Simultagnosia (object blindness) – “seeing” things in “bits” and or “fragments” not being able to integrate the pieces into meaningful chunks this could also be considered a form of context blindness.
  • Prosopagnosia (face blindness) – Not being able to recognise a person by their face this can lead to the persons using other forms of “recognition” such as voice, patterns of movement, placement, touching, sniffing hair, name tags etc.

What Has Helped?

From a personal perspective tinted lenses have had a great impact on how I process visual information and integrate it. The lenses have also  helped with

  • Body posture
  • Movement of my legs (not so “heavy footed”)
  • Reading and writing (dyslexia and dyscalculia)
  • Light sensitivity (sensory integration disorder)
  • Eye contact
  • Concentration and focus
  • Integrating visual perceptual information (even if I don’t understand the semantics/meanings this still helps)

Remember All Autism “Fruit Salads” Are Different 

That also includes not only what the fruit salad is made up of but also the origins that made them.

What Is Autism? Blog Donna Williams 

Paul Isaacs 2014