Paul Isaacs' Blog

Autism from the inside


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Anna Kennedy – Autism & Mental Health Workshop

Mental health issues effecting 70% on the spectrum… a far cry from the old days where if you had any moodanxietycompulsivedissociativeattachmentadjustmentemotional or behaviouralpersonality or identity disorders or psychosis you were trolled with you ‘couldn’t possibly ALSO be autistic’. Alternatively people without functional communication who also have mental health issues traditionally have had their mental health issues almost as standard fobbed off as ‘part of their autism’.

Donna Williams 2016

Mental Health Co-Conditions Covered In Workshop

Mood Disorders

  • Emotional Dysregulation
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Cyclothymic Disorder
  • Dysthymia
  • Depression

Anxiety Disorders

  • OCD
  • Exposure Anxiety
  • Social Anxiety Disorder/Social Phobia
  • Panic Disorders
  • Separation Anxiety
  • Catastrophising

Psychosis

  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Substance Induced Psychosis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Schizoaffective/ Schizophreniform Disorder
  • Catastrophising – Psychosis Related

Impulse Control

  • Body Repetitive
  • Bruxism
  • Dermatophagia
  • Skin Picking
  • Nail Biting
  • Nose Picking
  • Hair Cutting/Hair Plucking
  • Self Injury Disorder

Attachment Disorders

  • Attachment Disorder
  • Reactive Attachment Disorder
  • Social Engagement

Dissociative Disorders

  • Autistic PTSD
  • Derealisation
  • Depersonalisation
  • PTSD
  • Dissociative Disorder NOS
  • Dissociative Identity Disorder

Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome and Aspinauts

What Helped Me? (Personal Perspective)

Paul Isaacs 2021


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Lenny King – An Autism Journey With & Presuming Competence

Lenny & His Mum Sharon
Lenny & His Mum Sharon

I first met the friendly and welcoming Lenny many years ago during a consultancy session

Lenny King is an endearing, funny and compassionate young man whom is thriving in his teenage years. He has a deep and close relationships to have parents and sister Rosie and has a sense of wonder and interest about the world around him.

Oral Apraxia, Echolalia and Language Processing

Lenny was diagnosed with on the autism spectrum when he was 2 years old, meeting him it is clear that he has oral apraxia and this is to do with speech organs in the mouth (tongue, jaw muscles, lips) not going tandem with what someone is saying. He has echolalia and this is do do with having a language processing disorder and creating one’s own language (patterning, theming and feeling) – with emotional context, phonic relatability and feeling words as opposed to their interpretive use.

Lenny has a great affinity for music and enjoys and eclectic array of songs – this seems have a profound impact on him as his body moves, sways also most in its own synchronistic modulations.

Sensory Perception, Object Blindness (Simultagnosia) & Meaning Blindness (Semantic Agnosia)

Lenny navigation of his external world suggests that he has sensory perceptual challenges if one can imagine for a that your sensory organs work but the feedback or information gets fragmented or distorted in some way – what system would you use? To create connections he is tactile kinesthetic in which he will feel his external world with great intent such as sand, blades of grass etc, When walks into a rooms he goes in around “dead space” and at times looks through and use peripheral vision to free information processing to “see”. This is extends to the way in which Lenny communicates and interacts with people touching their faces could be a way of creating context and association on a personal and emotive level.

Faceblindness, Body Agnosias & Mirrors

Lenny is fascinated by this face in the mirror and he at times brings his face up close and makes very distinct contortions around his mouth, lips and teeth. He seems to pay great inspection to these areas and there could be many reasonings to why this is happening.

Some people can be faceblind to their own face and on a subconscious level building up an external movement based “map” of what certain gestures look like could be one option, the other could be that he sees this person as an existential “friend” or “familiar person”. It took Donna Williams well into her twenties to understand she was looking at “herself” and me until I was sixteen. The final one could be a marriage of the above and be an getting a sense of his own “body as a whole” with the specific sways, body pressure and movement a to great a sense of reality and clarity/association.

Competence and IQ

I remember saying Lenny once not long ago “You are intelligent” to which he quickly replied “Yes!” this suggests to me that although he has complex language processing, sensory perceptual challenges and communication disorders and that his systems are on the plain of sensing much live his sister Daisy – in which he feels, merges with people, places and his surroundings and is able to connection on an emotive/introspective level that must never assume that “intelligence has a look”.

Lenny is intuitive, friendly, personable and highly idiosyncratic and self driven in all areas of his life and it is pleasure to be in his company.

Paul Isaacs 2021


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The Toxicity Of The Autism Community

Narcissistic Projection, Adornment Narratives & Superficial Behaviour

We are all up for judgement my advice to anyone whom makes assumptions come to the person first rather than creating a reality in your in mind in which you believe to be real. In certain facebook autism groups have become contrived, toxic, self-serving and unhealthy to be around.

Ownership and Respect

This goes beyond the remit of healthy disagreement or a basic acknowledgement of someone’s realities. If assumptions and projected realities which I do not stand for nor the lack ownership for one’s words or how they looked.

Faux Inclusivity & Confirmation Bias

If people wonder why the autism community is so broken, then maybe we should start taking a look at the conduct that militant advocates are taking in guise of help, empowerment and inclusivity?

True Inclusivity – It’s More About Others Than You

Is it inclusive to ignore people with dietary disabilities, gut, immune and metabolic disorders?

Is it inclusive to ignore fundamental basics neurology and/or biology?

Is it inclusive to see autism as everything about a person? Despite the three dimensional aspect of all human beings?

Is it inclusive to ignore people whom are functionally non-verbal?

Is it inclusive to use “neurotypical” (I prefer non-autistic) as a slur, put down or form of othering? Creating more division?

Is it inclusive to disregard one reality of autism because it doesn’t fit the status quo?

Is it inclusive to project and force a narrative onto someone without giving them the time or space to make up their own minds?

Is it inclusive to gossip, flame, swear and demonise people purely because they have a different reality to your narrative?

Is it inclusive to divide parents and children?

Is it inclusive that militant cultural and curist rhetoric (yes they have much more in common than not) gets more attention, air time and superficial interest than actually making a fundamental difference to people’s lives?

Be The Change You Want To See

I ask you is that healthy? Balanced? Overall what standards are we looking for? We as human beings should be the change and set examples not become bitter and ego driven.

Self Respect, Self Acknowledgment

Some people just take this playground mentality around with them. Sort your own stuff out first before you expect any meaningful change from anyone. I know my own self well enough to what happen was wrong regardless and I have at least have some self respect to know I am not deserving of it.

So politics are creating more fertile ground for these self serving agendas then with all due respect I want no part of it.

Paul Isaacs 2021


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NAS Lambeth/A2ndVoice Workshop – Autism & Education From A Personal Perspective

This workshop is about Autism & Education. Hosted by Venessa Bobb.

Further Information & Reading

Donna Williams Autism Hangout Video

Donna Williams The Fruit Salad Approach

Paul Isaacs 2021


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Profound Autism? Or More Complex Autism “Fruit Salads”?

Different Fruits Salads? Different Realities?

Some people have more complex autism “fruit salads which means the ideas around need certainly to addressed. Terminology does become polarising and inclusivity means looking at all realities, including one’s which challenge people.

Difference In Information Challenges?

Complex autism “fruit salads” may have these pieces. There are significant differences in Asperger’s and autism “fruit salads”. To say they are the same is misdirected.

Profound “autism fruit salads” could look like as follows-

Language processing disorders (aphasia/verbal agnosias).
Visual Perceptual disorders (face, meaning or object blindness).
Oral or full body apraxia and other communication challenges.
Body disconnection/body blindness (body agnosias) making one prone to self harm.
Underlying gut, metabolic or auto-immune challenges to information processing.
Acute levels of Exposure Anxiety.
Secondary Mood, Anxiety and Compulsive disorders that may have been present infancy.
Are still living in the System of Sensing.
Overall higher levels of visual-verbal information processing challenges.

Conclusions

Identity?

This means that you understand the pieces, produce competence and intelligence and never over invest in these challenges being “them”.

Politics?

Advocacy should always be a balanced, inclusive narrative. I see it as a professional responsibility not to feed the masses fables, buzz words or rhetoric.

Being Authentic & Objective?

It’s about being real and if that makes people uncomfortable then one must reason our why and come to a place of peace.

Paul Isaacs 2021


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The Problems With “Autistic Identity”& Stereotyped Perceptions

“Neurotypical” A Word Misused & Inaccurate?

There is no such thing as “neurotypical” in terms of a collective definition of people, viewpoints or principles.

It’s a word I never use as it seems to adorned a slur like status in projection. Bigotry is as such is not only based on stereotypes but I feel hinders more balanced narratives and objective dialogues and information sharing.

We Live In A Human World First Identities Come Second

This isn’t a “neurotypical” world either it is world full of different and sometimes conflicting ideas, notions and perceptions of “other” which then lead in extreme cases to towards conflicts in bias.

Autism Militant Projection & Distorted Narratives

Militant narratives burns more bridges than it claims to build, by having a narrow lense of how someone who isn’t on the autism spectrum acts, thinks, feels etc.

How does this build a platform for idea sharing, life sharing and forming healthy agreement and disagreement?

Non- Autistic Realities & Autistic Realities – All Human Beings Are Walking “Fruit Salads

There are different forms of non-autistic realities and some parts of those realities may be relatable to an “AUT-istic” experience such someone whom has faceblindness, object blindness or language processing disorder. In other words there are multi- faceted realities of being “non-autistic“.

For the AUT-ism is not a collective reality either, not everything is sensory, not everything is language processing, not everything is dyspraxia etc.

For these are potential facets of an AUT-istic experience but are separate and identifiable pieces in their own right, that can exist on their own terms and have different presentations.

The Problem With Identity- First Narrative

That is why Identity-First language is misleading because what “parts” one is choosing to relate may not be the “autism” (in their “fruit salads) anyway.

Paul 2020


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“Autistic” Identity & Sense of Self?

My autism dances with my personhood… and my personhood must also dance with my autism yet whilst not separable, nor are they interchangeable with each other.

Autism, Identity First Language, and Identity Blog 2014

Donna Williams

What is “Autistic Identity” is this narrative helpful? Or is its own simplicity, stereotypes, static and linear narrative actually causing more harm than good? Are people who do not fit the “look” being dismissed because of politics and hidden agendas?
 
Personality Types & Disorders in Autism
 
For example let’s look at personality types and autism – all humans beings have these mine are mercurial, idiosyncratic, serious, self-sacrificing and solitary this tempers my perspective, tolerance, outlooks and even my belief systems to some degree. When they become disordered this in term has an impact on presentation.
 
Social Perceptional Challenges 
 
Now there is sensory perception social emotional agnosia (not seeing body language, facial expression and tone of voice) and alexithymia (emotional awareness) is not SENSORY perception but SOCIAL perception.
 
Sensory Perception and Sensory Integration? Different Origins?
 
SENSORY perception simultagnosia, semantic agnosia and associated visual agnosias in which the person struggles with context, faces, people, visual mentalising and secondary factors with language processing what about that reality? Sensory sensitivities associated with psychosomatic amplification are different.
 
Language Processing, Perception & Articulation 
 
Then there is in language processing such as verbal agnosia the perception of words, receptive and expressive aphasia and ability to filter interpretation, sentence structure and may have secondary communication disorders such as body and oral apraxia. What about that reality?
 
Mental Health – Does This Change Presentation?
 
What about people who have mental health presentations such as dissociative disorders, attachment disorders, psychosis, anxiety disorders and impulse control disorder. What about that reality?
 
What About People With Impacted Health Systems?
 
What about people with gut, autoimmune, metabolic or collagen disorders in which they gave associated challenges around these conditions in top of any further information processing challenges above? What about that reality?
 
Autism “Politics” & Fixed Narratives 
 
What about people whom claim that people aren’t on he spectrum due to personal and potentially mitigated circumstances? An inability to see their reality, ideas or perspectives? So potentially setting up an assassination of character and allowing others to go along for ride? How is that care, compassion or inclusion?
 
I would like to further add that if someone whom was diagnosed in the 1960’s with “childhood psychosis” (which is what they thought autism back then) and later had been diagnosed with autism in the 1990’s along with other conditions throughout their adulthood (such as visual perceptual disorders, atypical epilepsy, dietary disabilities, malabsorption, collagen disorders/ehlers danlos syndrome), whom for many years their diagnosis was considered to be “fake” and a “fraud” despite historical evidence. Is that correct?
 
Is it fair that their character after over two decades of physical and sexual abuse (they had a mother whom was a attachment disordered serial pedophile and abuser) whom acquired PTSD and Dissociative Identity Disorder to be given the mantle of “fake”? Personality disordered? Emotionally dysregulated? Violent and infantile? I ask these questions because its certainly clear to me that it isn’t and yesterday it brought me great sadness because I know in my heart that this isn’t truth. Its not the writer of such things I upset by its the teller of those things. 
 
They are not here to defend themselves so the least I can do is send out a clear message do not dictate someone’s character second hand. Its that simple.
 
Identity vs. Reality 
 
“Autistic Identity” is a it’s own separate social phenomena in which people can at times cherry pick what “is and isn’t” their autism. One can supply facts with empathy and I have always remained objective and moderate in the world of autism. Let’s start acknowledging that “autism” was never one thing in the first place.

When someone is diagnosed with autism? Are there other aspects we have to consider?


So for example if someone sees there whole being as “Autistic” is that accurate? helpful? Should we be allowing this to happen?

Paul Isaacs 2020


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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


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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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Autism & Personality Types – They Do Exist

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Personality Types & Autism 

When we look at “autism” looking at personality types is just as important as any other factors. We could look at these aspects of a human being they are very much the “soul” of the person they pepper one’s temperament, personal outlook, emotional regulation, friendships, relationships and aspects of social and emotional interaction.

Identity Crisis

For people who are on the autism spectrum not all their “being” is dictated by the diagnosis that they have. This of course will vary from person to person depending on what part of their “fruit salad” are impacting and how they view their personhood within that. Is it hidden by language processing disorder? Is it being tempered and challenged by health issues? Or are there underlying mental health issues that are being called “the autism” when they are not?

Autism Isn’t a “Collective” 

Some people see their autism as “ego-syntonic” that is all their person and they feel it all of the time, others like myself see their autism as part of their “being” this means that other factors come into it such as environmental factors, mental health, identity and learning style all human being are made of up these things . For me it seems to over simplified and reductive to suggest that people on the spectrum share common goals, values and outlooks as a collective experience.

The “Sameness” Machine

“We” do not all come from the same place, we do not have a carbon copy autism “fruit salad” that is  shared from person to person. That means that one should be seen as an individual not just a sausage machine of traits. People are born with no labels what so ever and no one person is defined by “one word”.

Paul Isaacs 2018