Paul Isaacs' Blog

Autism from the inside


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Future Diagnosis’ – A Further look Autism and Asperger “Fruit Salads” & The Inner Mechanics

The Changing Landscape of Autism Diagnosis

Looking how the scope of how the autism diagnosis has changed over the decades here is an overview

  • 1940s and 1950s – Autism was considered a form of attachment disorder
  • 1960s – Autism was considered a form of “childhood psychosis”
  • 1970s and 1980s – Autism was considered a form of mental retardation
  • 1990s – Asperger’s syndrome was added as a diagnostic criteria
  • 2000s to now – Autism and the impact of sensory integration issues

The truth is autism is has different trajectories and components it is best to look at autism as 3 dimensional a stacking of pre-existing syndromes/conditions/disorders that are person-specific.

So let’s look at the breakdown between “Autism” and “Aspergers” Fruit Salad looking at through the lenses of Donna Williams’ analogy.

 

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Autism “Fruit Salad”

 

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Aspergers “Fruit Salad”

 

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Conclusion

On the surface “Autism” and “Aspergers” may appear the “same” but digging deeper and looking at the profile differences and what makes up the differing profiles surely means that the wants, needs and interventions will be specific to the person in question and what they need will not be the same. Autism is not a generic “one size fits all” condition it is made up of many different elements specific to the person.

It is my wish that in the future when some is diagnosed with autism they will look a the full package this would include potentially different professionals being involved if differing diagnosis are willing to be made such as –

  • Speech and Language Therapists
  • Neurology Specialists
  • Dietary Specialists
  • Genetic Counselling
  • Gut, Immune and Metabolic Specialists
  • Mental Health Psychologists & Psychiatrists
  • & Other Empowering Interventions

 

Paul Isaacs 2017


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Thomley Families A Place To Thrive

 

Thomley

 

Image result for thomley families

It has been a year since Warren CEO and Joe Service Manager came to me with regards to being one of the many patrons of Thomley Families.

Moving Forward

I continue to enjoy the ventures, commitment that is made to improving the lives of people with disabilities at Thomley with the new construction of new Pavilion, expansion of the site, a dedicated staff team, fundraising ventures and community projects that set out not only to help the young people that attend Thomley but the family and friends also.

Empowerment

I have always been made to feel welcome and apart of the team this a firm reflection of the ethos that is instilled into the very fabric and ethos of Thomley Families as a place for people to be empowered, supported and to be connected. Many thanks

Paul Isaacs 2017


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Looking At What “Autism Is” Is That The Future?

I have been is the autism “world” as a speaker, trainer and consultant for well over seven years, I do not pretend to know all the answers nor I do project or promote that I have them all I can only speak from first hand experience of myself and the others that have been involved in professional capacity.

A 3D Diagnosis For The Future?

I what would like to offer a foundation of empowerment not because I know best but to give people the opportunity to find out about their “autism” what is made up of and the “mechanics” that go with it. I have wrote and documented my autism the fact that is made of being brain injured at birth, speech and language delays, sensory agnosias, aphasia, apraxia the fact that I have dealt with mood, impulsive and anxiety disorders also.

The fact that being borderline made me emotionally unstable, struggled with boundaries and also being schizotypal made me odd, aloof and detached from people and at times society. These “elements” are all about of my “mix” and words not only for these “pieces” empower not only the person in question but the services they come into contact with also family and friends.

Fruit Salad 2017

 

Looking Deeper, Looking Forward, Education & Empowerment

I went through my autism “fruit salad” at an event recently and asked if the diagnosis had pointed out the specific pieces how would they have felt? Also would this model benefit them it was a conclusion yes because understanding autism on thing but understanding the pieces of their children’s autism was felt to be very important, helpful, empowering and overall was a beneficiary to the services that they would come in contact with. Giving them not just the word “autism” but what it meant for them specifically.

My Autism Fruit Salad 1 Updated 2017

Autism Fruit Salad 2 2017

Autism Fruit Salad 3 2017

Conclusion

“Autism” is not “one thing” it is specific to each person also people do not have an “autistic personality” exclusive although personality types like solitary, idiosyncratic and conscientious would look more “autistic” but are smaller elements in the overall mix. I do believe that a person’s autism is everything about them because human beings are made up much than one element.

You can get  “non-autistic” personality types the people that challenge the stereotypes who could be equally adventurous and mercurial in their ways. For 2017 lets look at this from a broader perspective and empower people with knowledge that is worthy of making a difference.

Paul Isaacs 2017


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Autism -The Three Stages of Empowerment

Autism “Fruit Salads”(© Donna Williams 1995/2005/2014)

This is bottom to top analogy which implements all aspects of what could be in a person’s “autism fruit salad” to start off with the foundation is to understand the mechanics of what is within a person’s “autisms” (rather than autism). By looking at this we can separate it into these aspects.

  • Communication profile
  • Social-emotional profile
  • Emotional processing profile
  • Sensory Integration profile
  • Sensory Perceptual profile
  • Receptive Language profile
  • Expressive Language profile
  • Motor-coordination profile
  • Dietary profile
  • Auto-immune disorders profile
  • Learning styles profile
  • Personality types profile
  • Identity profile
  • Co-conditions profile

Interventions

These will be tailored to the specific needs of person’s profile/profiles looking holistically as well as professional for empowerment, guidance, social support, emotional support and/or any aspect of the person “autisms” that is within the mix. For example you could have someone who has exposure anxiety and dislikes direct confrontation and prefers an indirectly confrontational approach, is profoundly meaning deaf and aphasic. Think how you would build up that person’s profile and empower them?

An example

  • Gestural language
  • Aiding Mentalising by building up meaning and association
  • Being a follower not a leader or an expectant doer
  • Leave them wanting more and giving positive affirmations

Solutions

They will come in many forms as they marriage of each step relies on the one previous with regards to the “final step” this will be looking at what is working, aiding and empowering the person, their families, guardians etc. This could be put in an report or functional document for educational and professional services to have or it could be used as an information pack for friends and family the choice is yours.

Remember autism is not ONE THING it is a CLUSTERING of pre-existing conditions within one PERSON and that is the thing to realise that one person’s reality does not mean that is representational of all because that would mean a lot voices and realities would be left unheard it is time to change the landscape and starts with being open minded.

Paul Isaacs 2017


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To My Gramp – Gilbert Harpwood A Man Who Enjoyed Life

My Gramp Gilbert Harpwood was a man who enjoyed life to the full he was an avid gardener tending to his vegetables and flowers with relish and passion, eager to plant his seeds that would blossom each year such as his runner beans, cabbages and brussel sprouts they tasted lovely and as he said it is because they’re organic.

Gramp 1930s

He was fascinated by the weather noting and logging the rainfalls and temperature changes through the years in his little note book which he called his “diary” which he has many of and would be interesting to look back at what he noticed over the years.

His other main passion was football and he was an avid support of Oxford United all of his adult life going to the Manor Stadium and also Kassam, he made many friends there and made lots of fans around him laugh with his antics and child-like wit which came in the form of chants, laugher, heckling and being accompanied by his little teddy mascot called Messy which he put in his bag with his little head poking out. Gramp always liked to imagine he was watching the game too.

Gramp Oxfod United.JPG

My Gramp was a pragmatic, idiosyncratic, humorous and a largely misunderstood man he was caring, loving, helpful and affectionate in his own unique way to his family and close friends. He was a very guarded man and liked to keep himself to himself only opening up to people whom he felt comfortable with. I am grateful for knowing him and spending time with him listening to his stories of old, wisdom, humour, political views and so forth.

My Nan and Gramp had a wonderful relationship which last over 60 years during his passing she viewed him as her rock they had a deep love for each other which last a lifetime with treasured loyalty to his wife, both sharing precious moments such as marriages, births and anniversary celebrations. Gramp’s favourite time of the year was Christmas time in which he would like to play the jester eagerly taking part in jokes, enjoying the food, the TV programs and other festivities with the family.

He made firm contributions to village such as aiding the management of the roads around the area, letting the council know about filling in the pot holes and also taking a general interest in village life attending the meetings at the hut.

 

Nan & Gramp 50th Wedding Anniversary

He was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome a form of autism in 2011 at the age of 84 which in many ways surprised me that he was open enough to go to a diagnostic session and open up about his life with such candour and honesty, when the session was finished he concluded that is “why he was like he was”.  Reading books on the subject from the library.

Despite his cancer he carried on till the end a lover of life and person who wanted live and he will do in our hearts and minds forever if there is a cloud up the sky with a garden patch ready to be tended to I know my Gramp will be there ready to tend to it.

I love you Gramp and thank you. 🙂

Paul Isaacs 2017

 


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Autism, Alexithymia and Emotions – What is on the Surface May Not Reflect What is Going On Inside

Dad and I Butlins 1991OVERVIEW

Note – This is from a personal perspective

Autism can mean living in a world in which you perceive language, social, emotions and sensory in a vastly different way to other people. Yes people on the spectrum have emotions and have empathy but the way in which people process it, navigate it and show it are very different so the outside view can be confuse people.

Many people on the autism spectrum have a condition called Alexithymia which means finding “words” and processing emotions can be hard to reach in typical time, it can take me a day to understand how I felt about tomorrow and in some cases years to process complex emotions from a point in time, but it doesn’t mean I’m lacking or devoid of emotion nor empathy. People on spectrum show empathy in different ways. 

Paul Isaacs Adult with Autism 2014


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Donna Williams – Author, Singer, Songwriter, Artist & Consultant on The Autism Spectrum

Donna Williams Copyright D.Williams and C. Samuel

Donna Williams Copyright D.Williams and C. Samuel

OVERVIEW

Donna Williams is a multi-talented person on the spectrum who has a long career in consultancy, public speaking, writing and also singing and songwriting. She has in many ways uncovered the  different aspects of Autism – “Fruit Salads” and she has re-evaluated  what is “Autism”? How does it present itself from person to person? What are the “mechanics”, “meta-syndromes”, autoimmune issues, co-conditions, personality profiles and environmental issues. What are differences between an Autie “Fruit Salad” and an Aspie “Fruit Salad”. How does this person communicate? How do they “see” and “hear” and “perceive” the world?

Fruit Salad Analogy Copyright D.Williams

Fruit Salad Analogy Copyright D.Williams

FRUIT SALAD ANALOGY

Donna’s person centred and holistic lateral approach has is her “Fruit Salad Analogy” created in 1995 and revised in 2005 this gives a multi-layered view of the different Autism presentations.

DONNA’S BOOKS

Donna’s Book have been published in multiple languages all over the world and many of them are award winners in particular her first two autobiographies Nobody Nowhere and Somebody Somewhere.

  • Nobody Nowhere 
  • Somebody Somewhere
  • Like Colour/Color To The Blind
  • Everyday Heaven
  • Not Just Anything
  • Weirdos Like Me
  • Tree Of Life
  • Echoes 
  • Baloombawop 
  • The Gadoodleborger
  • Autism: An Inside Out Approach
  • Autism & Sensing
  • Exposure Anxiety: The Invisible Cage
  • Exposure Anxiety: The Handbook
  • The Jumbled Jigsaw

BUY DONNA’S BOOKS

DONNA’S ART

Donna does tremendously thought-provoking artwork which has been held at various exhibitions and used for the cover of her books as well as “communicating” through her work what Autism can “feel” like.

BUY DONNA’S ARTWORK

DONNA’S MUSIC

Donna has currently released three albums her voice is melodic with a mix of beats, spoken word and atmosphere it takes you on a trip. 🙂

CONCLUSION

I can honesty that my books, my speeches and Autism work would be a different animal if I hadn’t listened to Donna, read her books researched and talked her about he diversity of Autism “Fruit Salads” – recently we conversed over email with regards to our different/but similar “Fruit Salads” I like that she is out to break stereotypes, empower people on the spectrum so that they can be happy because that I believe (happiness) is what is needed. I like that she  has a Personhood first approach and not seeing people on the spectrum as a set of traits of symptoms. 🙂

Well I say Thank You Donna! 🙂 From a personal and professional level. 🙂

The Beacon of Hope

For Donna Williams

The empathy that comes from Within

Has allowed people to smile and Grin

To follow their dreams with strength and Gusto

To give purpose a reason to say “yes” or “no”

For all the worries of being “Slow”

You have said “let’s try something different” and up off we Go!

So my Autism is APART of Me

and if you look a little Closer

You will see ALL of me, hey! you’re a good Noticer

Thank you Helping

Thank you for Enabling

and giving abilities to Cope

Thank you for being a Beacon of Hope

Paul Isaacs Adult with Autism 2014