Paul Isaacs' Blog

Autism from the inside


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Autism, Words, Aphasia, Body & Visual Agnosias

Sound Asleep

Note this is from a personal perspective

Aphasia and Words

Words in my mind felt ethereal, transient and distant the internal garbel of sounds, pitches, tones, hums and inflection as if my unconscious mind was trying so desperately to find the words, string the sentences anew to project and receive in “real-time” on some level I believe in my later years that is what I was trying to do. The jumble of a “salad of letters” in my mind could be found and then lost in equal measure.

Oral Apraxia and Word Finding and Formation

The functional element of my speech was delayed in both speech and language the aphasia was both receptive and expressive in nature with a high instance of anomia (word finding). The other element is oral apraxia which rendered me unable to form the words I would find leaving me disconnected and frustrated.

Receptive Aphasia, Body Agnosia & Associated Visual Agnosias

The receptive element of speech for example someone talking to me was the same external garbel as was in my mind a silent war between expresser and receiver trying to find clarity amongst the hidden mist of miscommunication.  The inability to perceive my own body meant a level of internal groundedness was  not their and context was missed time and time again. I relied on the touch, taste, smell, texture these feelings gave me a context to grab onto and create an association it is no surprise to me that my Mum through I was deaf and blind because that is exactly how I was behaving my language processing and sensory perceptual systems (visual agnosias) were so scrambled the credible and most importantly meaningful option was to “feel to think”, “feel to relate”, “feel to connect”, “feel to be”, “feel to extract” and the list goes on.

Creating My Own Language

Before interpretative language sets one could be creating their own language through association, things they have heard and seen on the television, jingles on the radio or other stands of information that bears relevance to an event and/or emotional meaningful response. In my case this was form of communication which looked meaningLESS to the listener but was meaningFUL to me as the expresser.

Memory and Internal Mentalising 

A memory with no associative images for words and no words for images meant my style of learning and integrating was not logical in nature nor literal this is secondary reason why my language and visual-verbal processing was delayed and slower, however as the years progressed I was building up a slow repertoire to words and my functional speech came around 7/8 years old this was expressively and developmentally in terms of content and formation of a 3 year old this new “voice” at times rendered me equally mute and frustrated.

Conclusion

Looking at the broader instance of different aspects that make up language processing difficulties in autism one needs to look at what is making the difficulties piece by piece, how that has an impact on the person and then work on positive and empowering and meaningful interventions.

Paul Isaacs 2017


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Having Classic Autism, Speech, Language & Moving My Arms Like Donna Williams

 Tony Attwood and Michelle Garnett were presenting at an Autism Oxford Event (a 2 day conference) – My Presentation was My Journey to an Autism Diagnosis.

This my personal perspective of Autism and how it affects me

Paul with CamelClassic Autism, Visual & Auditory Perceptual Disorders & Language

I have Classic autism (as opposed to AS) – I look at people from with AS afar in admiration for the qualities they bring to the world – Like Donna Williams I live in a world where Visual agnosias & Auditory agnosias make sounds fun… and scary and images fragmented… artistic but at times confusing living in a world BEFORE interpretive meaning I treat my expressive language I use now as my foreign/2nd language which I have learnt to use (because Apraxia of speechSpeech delay,Language delay & Aphasia).

Connecting with the World

Hands are my tools for “seeing”, licking, sniffing, tapping, rubbing – I asked the audience to think internally visualise a table I can’t because of semantic agnosia I must “feel” and “experience” a table

Gestural Language & No Visual Memory

Communicating and connecting before expressive functional speech was sounds, clicks, movements to convey communication (still my primary form of communication in my head I had loads to say) – Tony commented on how I move my arms like Donna’s that is because like her I paint a picture/movie/communication through my arms and hands moulding as I talk images in real time which helps me get my words out to externally express what is trying to come out internally.

Paul Isaacs Adult with Autism 2014