Paul Isaacs' Blog

Autism from the inside

Leave a comment

NAS Lambeth/A2ndVoice Workshop – Autism As A Fruit Salad & Sensory Perception Issues

This workshop is about Donna Williams’ “Fruit Salad” analogy of autism and sensory perceptual challenges and agnosias in the context of autism. Hosted by Venessa Bobb.

Further Information & Reading

What Is Autism?

Common Pieces In Autism “Fruit Salads

Sensory Perception in Autism

Paul Isaacs 2020


Autism Bucks – What is Autism? Workshop

What is Autism? – Autism Bucks & Paul Isaacs

This workshop is an an introduction and overview of autism using Donna William’s “fruit salad” analogy as the basis. I shall be adding links to expanding on some of the aspects which I spoke about.

Autism “Fruit Salad” Expanded

Autism and Personality Types

Autism and Personality Types? Why Aren’t They Looked Into?

Autism, Personality & Identity

Ptypes website

Autism and Visual Perception

Autism, Visual Agnosias And Making Connections

Agnosia, Sensory Perception & Autism

Autism and Exposure Anxiety

Exposure Anxiety & Autism

A Diagnostic Criteria For Exposure Anxiety?

Further Links

What is Autism?

Differences Between Aspergers & Autism “Fruit Salads?”

Paul Isaacs 2020


Autism -Myopia (Short Sightedness), Visual Agnosias & Tinted Lenses


Note – This is from a personal perspective

As a child I appeared both deaf and blind due to complex visual and auditory agnosias which affect how I “see” and “hear” the world, when I was 5 years old I was diagnosed with shortsightedness (myopia) in my right eye and given glasses what this blog is going to go through is the the differences between and physical sight issues and neurological percuta sight issues and in my case how they can co-exist, what worked and what didn’t.


Sort Sightedness And Conventional Glasses

In my right eye I have slightly blurred vision this is due to a condition of the eye called myopia, this can be “corrected” either by eye glasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery. I had conventional glasses at 5 years old, however by “correcting” the physical aspect of my right eye it didn’t “correct” the complex neurological aspect – visual agnosias – and this what was still persistent during my years with conventional glasses – which are

Brain Lobe 2

Visual Agnosias – “Blindness ” In The Brain Conventional Glasses Didn’t Help My Visual Perceptual Issues

Visual agnosia is often due to bilateral damage in the posterior occipital and/or temporal lobe in the brain

With my conventional glasses all the problems were still there all during my educational years I had challenges with visual fragmentation only seeing “pieces” never “wholes”, not seeing depth (everything seeming flat and 2D) , not seeing with meaning, reading with meaning, letters and numbers being jumbled, my sense of body was “fragmented” and where my body was in space, time and movement even with my right eye “corrected” I was neurologically “blind” to the right side of my body and what I was “seeing” – as I have stated in previous posts because of my visual agnosias I live in a sensory based world.

CONVENTUAL Glasses Caused

  • Headaches
  • Eye Strain
  • Heightened Fragmentation
  • Increased Fatigue
  • Decreased Concentration

Tinted Lenses – Fitted 2012

With years of having conventional glasses I was diagnosed formally with scotopic sensitivity syndrome, visual agnosias and learning difficulties by James Billett.

When I first tried my tinted lenses on it was like magic in many ways as I saw things wholes, my balance and body language improved instantly, words and letters where configured more, I read faster processing words quicker and numbers quicker, I moved better in space and could process visuals in light.


From a personal perspective myopic vision and visual agnosias both play apart in the way I perceive the world however I would say the agnosias had the greater impact in my case as my Mum thought I was totally blind in my younger years, but I’m glad that although shortsightedness was recognised that eventually my visual perceptual disorders where finally recognised too.

Maybe we need to look at folks on the spectrum who have both issues with their eyes and visual processing and see what works best for them for me personally conventional glasses didn’t work but tinted lenses do.

Paul Isaacs 2014

Leave a comment

Supermarkets – Autism, Sensory Perceptual Disorders & Sensory Issues

Street Scene Pixeled

Note – This is a personal perspective of how I experience supermarkets

There are many ways in and strategies which I have used to navigate a supermarket over the years when I was a child I never knew what this “big colourful space” was that my parents used to take me to, I had no concept or connection with what it was as it was a bunch of fragmented images (that I would like or hate or get sensory “highs” from) noises that I couldn’t decipher and would like or dislike, kinesthetic sensory experiences were a way of connecting with the environment and experiencing the products in this fashion was very useful for me as it was building a bridge of connectivity.

So here is what helps me –


This helps reduce noise input not only do I have Verbal Auditory Agnosia/Aphasia (meaning deafness) I also have an Auditory Hypersensitivity which is greatly helped due to headphones – (imagine hearing every single sound all at once at equal volume) it helps me connect better with my surroundings and focus on the tasks of buying the products I can also get stuck on “words” and “sounds” that I hear which is also helped by the headphones.

Tinted Lenses & Mapping

These help and continue to help with processing visuals in light as I have Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome/Light Sensitivity they help with reducing light “over” visual information, I also have Visual AgnosiasProsopagnosia, Simultagnosia, Semantic Agnosia (seeing things in bits, without “meaning” with a lack of depth 2D) this can cause problem with navigating surroundings. Although I still have these agnosias and do not have a “visual memory” it helps me navigate surroundings much better, with reduced light input, less fragmentation and more visual depth and “real time”.


I wear clothing with “pressure points” I have Visuospatial Dysgnosia (body disconnection) so I have tight bracelets round my wrists, my hair is in a tight bun/ponytail, tight fitted shoes – This gives me “anchor points” for my body to navigate around the “space” around me.


I still “see” and “hear” without “meaning” and in the supermarket I still like to touch to perceive and map my surroundings by remembering my patterns of movement around the store, however I believe in positivity and healthy challenges for myself and this is one of them. I hope this helps. 🙂

Paul Isaacs 2014

Leave a comment

Olly (From the Phoebe Caldwell’s Intensive Interaction DVD) – The Autism Advocate :-)


What I like about Olly and Phoebe in this video is that they’re having a wonderful, connected and meaningful conversation (beyond “typical” processing and interpretation). I like the fact that Olly is showing us his world before and after “being connected” it is a joy to see and experience, he also shows the importance of different Autism profile as he responds to sounds and touch to get connectivity from the person. What I also like about this video is that his wonderful cheekiness and smile come through too, what an inspiring young man. 🙂 A true advocate in my book. 🙂



  • Being Person-Centred
  • Holistic & Open-Minded 
  • Understanding the person’s Communication Profile
  • Understanding the person’s Sensory Profile
  • Understanding their unique Personality 
  • Taking Time

Autism isn’t one thing and by understanding a person’s  unique profile is important. 🙂

Paul Isaacs 2014


Prosopagnosia, Simultagnosia, Semantic Agnosia And How I Remember People on the Autism Spectrum


Note – This is a personal perspective of visual agnosias


I was recently at the National Autistic Society Awards 2014, and mapping and remember people can be difficult because I cannot process faces, objects, the tints help me walk into and process many visuals in “real-time” and I have no visual memory, I still need to touch to perceive because of semantic agnosia.

I don’t recognise people by their faces (prosopagnosia) but with the tints help with visual coherence and generalising and defragmenting my visual environment and also eye contact so I recognise people firstly by –

  • Their voices and I recognised one of the speakers at the event by their voice
  • The next person I recognised the person by patterns of movement
  • The next person coming up to me is telling me their name
  • The next my manager told me the person’s name and thus made the connection
  • The next person also by their patterns of movement
  • The next person by their name tag


Paul Isaacs 2014


Aphasias – Expressive & Receptive Language in Autism “Fruit Salads” – D.Williams


Note – this is a personal account of Aphasia all people on the spectrum have different profiles. 🙂 


Expressive aphasia (non-fluent aphasia) is characterized by the loss of the ability to produce language (spoken or written). It is one subset of a larger family of disorders known collectively as aphasia. Expressive aphasia differs from dysarthria, which is typified by a patient’s inability to properly move the muscles of the tongue and mouth to produce speech. Expressive aphasia contrasts with receptive aphasia, which is distinguished by a patient’s inability to comprehend language or speak with appropriately meaningful words. Expressive aphasia is also known as Broca’s aphasia in clinical neuropsychology and agrammatic aphasia in cognitive neuropsychology and is caused by developmental issues or damage to the anterior regions of the brain, including (but not limited to) the left posterior inferior frontal gyrus or inferior frontal operculum, also described as Broca’s area 

Personal Overview

Sometimes even now I “lose” words “within myself” this is to do with “internal verbal fragmentation” word would just escape from mind and I would have no interpretive words to express, so I would use movements and sounds to create my own language and that was both functional and meaningful to me.

Paul Isaacs


Auditory verbal agnosia (AVA), also known as pure word deafness, is the inability to recognize speech. Individuals with this disorder lose the ability to understand language, repeat words, and write from dictation. However, spontaneous speaking, reading, and writing are preserved. Individuals who exhibit pure word deafness are also still able to recognize non-verbal sounds.Sometimes, this agnosia is preceded by cortical deafness; however, this is not always the case. Researchers have documented that in most patients exhibiting auditory verbal agnosia, the discrimination of consonants is more difficult than that of vowels, but as with most neurological disorders, there is variation among patients.

Personal Overview

Even now when people give me long litanies of verbal information the words will fragment back into “sounds” and I cannot process the words in real time it would be a mouth with sounds coming out of them but with no “meaning” – this at times can overwhelm and/or make me shutdown, ironically it is verbal overload which cases me the most pain.

Paul Isaacs

Remember that language processing is diverse. 🙂

Paul Isaacs 2014



Leave a comment

My Autie Books 1 – Living Through The Haze

Living Through The Haze

Living Through The Haze


“Living Through The Haze – Life on the Autistic Spectrum”

Book Description

Paul Isaacs has High Functioning Autism. In this book he talks about his life and the misunderstandings in his younger years by people around him such as neighbours, teachers and family members. The hardships of being in education while undiagnosed and the difficulties in the work place and being misdiagnosed by Mental Health Professionals.

Despite all this he has come through these hard times with the help, love and support from his family and friends. Which he believes is the important backbones of where he is today. He also believes in Autistic specific support for everyone on the spectrum.



Paul Isaacs 2014

1 Comment

My Beautiful Amber – Dealing with Grief, Alexithymia and Autism

In Remembrance Of Amber 2000 – 2014

Sometimes in life there are difficulties of losing a loved one, Amber our dog was put to sleep today after having cancer of the mouth.

She was confident, aloof, independent, playful, funny,serious sometimes all at once.

Animals bring much joy into your lives as they live in the moment, I did get up set today – The reason being I had a delayed emotional reaction to my first dog dying and Alexithymia thankfully didn’t come to call today and I have had a rare occasion of dealing with my emotions and grief in real-time.

This is the second time that has happened in my life with the death of my Grandmother “Nanny Janet” in 1998.

Paul Isaacs 2014

Leave a comment

Why I Didn’t Point as A Child Finger Agnosia & Autism

Dad and I Butlins 1991


About Josef Gertsmann

As I child even in my early development I didn’t point and one of the reasons for this was Finger Agnosia (which also part of Gertsmann Syndrome which I have as apart of my Autism Fruit Salad). I had no idea that on the end of my palms where digits which I could use as a from of communication because I was “blind” to them so what helped me “recognise them”.

This is a personal overview and from my experiences

  1. Sensory Exploration (scrunching leaves, touching environment, painting with my hands)
  2. Sensory Play with Dad
  3. Pens and Pencils (giving me an awareness of through grip/pressure)
  4. Riding a bike
  5. Learning to get dressed
  6. Swimming

Paul Isaacs 2014