Paul Isaacs' Blog

Autism from the inside


1 Comment

Autism “Culture”, The Word “NT” and Militancy

SDC10050

If people are representing one has to think about is it for other people? Self-service? Advocacy? Empowerment? Information sharing? 

Militancy Is it “Normal”?

If militancy is perceived as the norm then who is that actuality helping? Assisting? Or otherwise is this the new phase that becomes relevant before it becomes redundant and passe?

The leader of their group replied in a tone lacking in warmth, ‘it would have been better without any NTs present‘. The others chimed in in support of him. Alienated, I left them to it.

Later when they were buddying up with more of the same separatist rhetoric and there was a tone to it that sat uncomfortably with me, a tone I’d heard before, in hierarchical non-autie children in playgrounds once upon a time (where I’d also known nice ones).

I had to let this group know that I simply don’t do bigotry… that my non-autie friends are not typical, mundane, boring or expendable and that I refuse to use any derogatory term that hints they are such, such as ‘NT‘.

As you can imagine, they were quite taken aback. I was meant to ‘understand’. I was meant to be ‘one of them’. But if ‘one of them’ meant I was meant to hang out in a group and dislike or disrespect another group, and share this as ‘belonging’ and ‘shared culture’ and ‘shared understanding’ then this wasn’t ‘me’.

Donna Williams

If this is the case what example is being set? By noting ones perceived superiority or “specialism” over others is still bigotry, separatism and creates more waves of the old “them and us” which doesn’t represent inclusion, empowerment, reality-sharing or otherwise. Which burns bridges more bridges than it claims to build.

The Word “NT” It Isn’t Helpful

I have come to believe that the word “NT” is not only unhelpful  and has been projected in such a way that would imply that other people who fit this “label” are “typical” therefore one could perceive that word as “boring”. I find this not only hypocritical but also a mystery because in truth there is no such thing as a “neurotypical”.

Autism “Culturism and Militancy”

The English word militant is both an adjective and a noun, and is usually used to mean vigorously active, combative and aggressive, especially in support of a cause

One cannot cherry pick what autism is and isn’t as a shared collective that is same for everybody in the truth autism in its presentation and reality is different for each person so in order to advocate and empower you have to be aware that the only reality you can share is your own and be humble and conscious enough to say that. To allow other people’s realities to relevant you cannot speak for all, to empower you cannot project “reality sameness”  because no human being is the same.

No One Should Be Defined As One “Label”

Can anybody be defined by one factor? Can anybody describe themselves in one word? I do not define myself by my “autism” it is certainly apart me but it isn’t the driving factor at all. When I was born I was born a human being and all that comes with it I live as a human being. There is much to be said about in the end being emotionally grounded, considerate and realistic.

Egalitarianism – The Way Forward

Egalitarianism (from French égal, meaning ‘equal’) – or equalitarianism[1][2] – is a trend of thought that favors equality for all people.[3]Egalitarian doctrines maintain that all humans are equal in fundamental worth or social status,

My wish is that in order for this to work people must consider all realities, perspectives, opinions and input in a constructive manner that is overall beneficial.

Paul Isaacs 2017

 

 

Advertisements


3 Comments

You “Neurotypical” – When Reverse Prejudice Is Justified – Houston We Have A Problem!

Reboot Season 114WHAT “NT” MEANS

The word is well a term for people “off the autism spectrum” but when it is used in a such way to discriminate against a collective of people in which “other” is deemed as wrong, offensive, unaware, lacking, not knowing, stupid and ignorant it doesn’t matter how you package this one it is still wrong to be prejudice it is still wrong to project views that are bigoted and hiding behind a “good cause” doesn’t wash with me.

At the end of my lecture I asked ‘did you enjoy the talk’.

The leader of their group replied in a tone lacking in warmth, ‘it would have been better without any NTs present’. The others chimed in in support of him. Alienated, I left them to it.

Later when they were buddying up with more of the same separatist rhetoric and there was a tone to it that sat uncomfortably with me, a tone I’d heard before, in hierarchical non-autie children in playgrounds once upon a time (where I’d also known nice ones).

I had to let this group know that I simply don’t do bigotry… that my non-autie friends are not typical, mundane, boring or expendable and that I refuse to use any derogatory term that hints they are such, such as ‘NT’.

As you can imagine, they were quite taken aback. I was meant to ‘understand’. I was meant to be ‘one of them’. But if ‘one of them’ meant I was meant to hang out in a group and dislike or disrespect another group, and share this as ‘belonging’ and ‘shared culture’ and ‘shared understanding’ then this wasn’t ‘me’. Donna Williams (Polly Samuel)  

PREJUDICE IS PREJUDICE REGARDLESS OF THE WORDS USED

I will like to let people be aware that anybody who has used this term to the effect stated in this example – have you ever been called names? Names that hurt? Names that make you feel like shit? Names that question your own being? Names that make you feel small or inferior? If you have then surely you must understand that any form of separatism is wrong and that if “you neurotiypical” was used  in any other context such as race, gender or sexuality it would rightfully be deemed offensive.

“NT” & “AUTISM THEY ARE ADJECTIVES

“NT” is word a never use now because of what it has connotations with but people are people and acceptance doesn’t come from pigeon holing collective realities as “NT” or “autistic”  how about seeing people as human beings in the world we live in now we are forgetting that fundamental fact I see people. Seeing people is cool. 🙂

Paul Isaacs 2016


Leave a comment

“Autism” Isn’t A Culture – It Has Been Created As Such

culture1.jpg (132129 bytes)

 

A CREATED CONSTRUCT

“Autism” is not a culture that is the premise of this post looking at the the diagram above you can see in simple terms how a “culture” works firstly it is a social construct it has been consciously created by other people, adapted, worded, it has its core values and within those vales it its has rituals, and within those rituals it has its “heroes” and within its heroes it has its symbols of recognition.

SAY YOUR PRAYERS AND TAKE YOUR VITAMINS 

Why is this a worry within the context and confines of autism because what if you don’t fit the culture? Follows rules? Pray to the right “gods”? Follow its values and customs and overall practices? Does that mean you have gone to the “dark side” that your value has been lessened because you don’t follow suit?

WHAT IF YOU DON’T FIT? ARE YOU REALLY THE “ENEMY”?

What if this construct  is the very problem within the autism “world” what if is the overall restriction for commenting you own reality that doesn’t fit was the status quo? Why should a open and honest dialogue be challenged because is doesn’t fit in with what is going on? That to me that is the ultimate reverse prejudice you cannot talk about this sort of isolation if you are practising and enforcing that types of isolation (even if it is in the name of a “good cause”).

REFLECTION

I am by no means the brightest but something is wrong here. I am all for advocacy, information sharing and above all honesty and truth but that is so  that all realities are to be taken into account. Even if they are tough to hear they are valid part of the learning process surely?

LIVE YOUR LIFE AS A PERSON 

The best examples of living life is by that very nature living it, ignore the politics, passe customs and overall dogma and just “be” there something fulfilling about just “being” and existing on a personal note my Father has helped by example to do this because life is short.

Paul Isaacs 2016


1 Comment

Over Generalisations In Autism

20160730_114554When people think of autism? One may need to consider this that is has never been a singular thing. In my previous blogs I have mentioned people like Donna Williams and Manuel Casanova who in their own unique style content has indicated through different observations and experiences that autism is not a generic, unmovable or flat presentation and that the components are different between person to person. That in turn means that different sources of help, aid and empowerment would be needed. It is very individualised.

Generalisations? Too Easy To Digest?

Generalisations are easy to digest I suppose they create a bubble in which the person has these sets of “traits” and one goes from there,  to point out the massive differentiation in autism it is surely more than healthy and beneficial? Also leading  finding why and how the person in question could be helped and empowered.

The Issues Around Autism “Culture”

“Autism” is not a culture that (to me) doesn’t make sense at all fitting into one individual into   culture means surely you are treading into many further degrees of separation which for me is very uncomfortable to consider or even acknowledge as something I would want to do or pursue as a goal.

To over invest in a label  means you are seeing your self as a single thing  and one definable thing and not seeing that like all human beings ALL people have different interacting personality types, environments, experiences, thoughts and feelings.

Something I strive for seeing the validity of being rather than over defining. This relates very much to over generalisations of “us” and “we” do this and “us” and “we” don’t do that if you step back think about this scenario and ethos is that (as the bigger picture) over time helpful?

Conclusion

The “autism world” has many hidden voices and experiences that people need to hear acknowledge and affirm reality for them – I once wrote in a previous blog that it is about listening to ALL people’s views whether they are parent, professional, person on spectrum or person off the spectrum.

Breaking down barriers of generalisations will lead to hopefully an fuller open dialogue in which we CAN learn and acknowledge from others with out man-made barriers which have been created in the “autism world.”

Paul Isaacs 2016

 


1 Comment

What I Have Observed In The Autism World – It Needs To Change

The Beginning 

Author ImageI was diagnosed with Autism in 2010 at the age of 24 years old that same year I started a new career venture as a public speaker and later a trainer and consultant. After the diagnosis as my parents and I were walking towards car my Mum gently directed and reaffirmed to me that I was person first and both she and my Dad had always seen me (and would continue to do so) as “Paul”.

Culture Shock – Part 1

In my own naivety I was unaware that autism had a pre-existing “culture” that was in place I was slowly being introduced to words that I wasn’t either comfortable with or didn’t understand their significance in the ways of the world. To me in 2011 is where these internalised struggles started people were in directly and later directly saying that autism defines every part of them, what they do how they think and feel. I wanted to know the mechanics of my autism to empower others that was all. I also was on   a quest for my sense of personhood that I valued and still do first and foremost.

Autism Isn’t “One Thing”

Over the many years as a speaker, trainer and consultant it is only fair that Autism should  not be seen as a mass of traits that  affect the people who are diagnosed in the same way but as clustering of pre- existing elements that create one’s own unique profile. In 2010 I was introduced to Donna Williams’ Fruit Salad model of Autism which has helped understand the mechanics of me but a clear and firm realisation that seeing myself as a person first isn’t a negative thing but a positive thing.

Culture Shock – Part 2

As an advocate on the Autism spectrum I feel I have a personal and professional responsibility to not project the tired stereotypes and that the only perspective I can speak from is my own. Sadly, what I have seen is a very negative side of this culture which includes “neurotypical” being used as reversed prejudiced attack – I dislike this word as it creates more barriers and in my view isn’t the correct word to use. I have witnessed “them” and “us” language, separatism, militancy, bullying, death threats and character assassinations.

This in the last two years has been a real concern for me regardless of if you are on the spectrum or not this is no excuse for such behaviours. We should all learn to respect each other’s views regardless of disagreement. Personally I don’t see Autism as culture but as a disability where  a culture has been built around it. It is a set of ideas.

Mental Health – A Personal Perspective 

Because of these issues and others this has taken a toll on my mental health I have seen to much and it has made me question a lot things over the last year or so. I lost myself through over investment and low self-esteem and self worth. This is partly because my views were not seen on par with the status quo and partly the way in which I was told either through silence or attacks, I know I am worth more.

Equalism

I worry about the people on the autism spectrum who are functionally non-verbal, those who have autism with a learning disability and  parents and guardians are not getting their voices, opinions and realities heard and acknowledged.

Everyone is equal so therefore realities are equal (even if in reality it doesn’t happen) so if that is the case then the whole spectrum should be included? Surely?

Personhood First? Why is this Important? 

I was born a person and I will not shackled into thinking  that every aspect of me is my autism – for the reasons stated above I am going to explore other ventures such as art, poetry, fashion and so forth.

I am still an advocate, I will present speeches, present training, write and blog but with a different mindset to the world which I was eagerly presented to. I shall not miss this aspect of it – it is damaging and misleading and in my opinion needs to change before others get treated the same way.

Beyond The Label (Pastures Green)

Ever the thoughtless fable to define someone by a label

To glamourise or demonise is the answer listen to your call

Can you really speak for all? A court Jestor or fool?

Beyond the label is before loving the person for themselves

Out of the confines you shed a smile. It has been a while?

I look at the rolling fields and trees, the splender of the grass

The waving flowers and the earth, watching the world pass

The plodding dog eager to please, always up for a tease

I have no regrets my body is fluid it doesn’t stall to freeze

I sup on tea and live in moment -I want to please.

 

Paul Isaacs 2015