Paul Isaacs' Blog

Autism from the inside


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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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What is Communication & Interaction? Should We Look Deeper?

All people have different ways of interacting with people based on many different factors. This is from a personal perspective.

Personality Types, Conversation & Self

For example I am idiosyncratic so I have deep, introspective emotive conversations with people as a preference, I am solitary by nature so I feel comfortable with my own self, I struggle with praise and prefer sometimes more balanced and objective, real observations of things, I am mercurial so I can flit between different cultures, friendships but I am mindful about the challenges of borderline – lack of self identity, sloppy boundaries and emotional dysregulation (which has a 60 percent crossover with autism), I am self-sacrificing so I am willing to aid, support and help others in need but must be care not to present myself as a doormat, I am serious and can be intense and conversations and prone to depressive episodes.

Ego-syntonic Nature of Co-conditions & Complex Information Processing

OCD drove my to be solitary out of the shackles of the conditions, Exposure Anxiety caged me from the want to connect, dissociation was both and ally and enemy when I was severely meaning deaf/blind and being context blind at least allowed me to appreciate (and partly retain) the system of sensing being etc.

Information processing stuff such as faceblindness, simultagnosia mean I struggle with a shared sense of social, language processing disorder means I can go “deaf” to meaning however just KNOWing this information gives me something to work upon.

A lot of Contrast & Subjective Natures?

I think the situations you talk about are mixture of culture, environment, expectations (social, intercultural, gender, context) and how one’s brains are able to keep up (regardless if they are on the spectrum or not), personality types/clashes of ideals, perceptions, rules, outlooks.

Conclusion

It’s a melting pot that people look yourself accordingly – in the end it is what works best for you.

Paul Isaacs 2021


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Identity & “Actual Self”

 

Care nothing about how you think you WANT to appear to others and more on how you really ARE to others.

This will then in turn mean you have depthful and loving interactions that are more meaningful and laced with openness of the heart and substance of the soul.✨💓

Paul Isaacs 2020


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A Journey With Exposure Anxiety

Exposure Anxiety comes in 3 levels:

  • Specific: Targets only specific environments, activities and interaction with particular individuals.
  • Generalized and other-directed: Effects all areas of life which directly involves others.
  • Generalized and both self and other directed: Effects all areas of life which directly involves others but is also present when alone.

Copyright Donna Williams 1991, 2003, 2008

Residual “Exposure Anxiety?

If we think about exposure in a residual (non syndromic sense) those moments of embarrassment, aware of being aware, aware of your own self-awareness of the situation meant that you froze clammed up or even ran away meant that this “feeling” you wanted to escape, remove, and disappear.

A Personal Look at Exposure Anxiety And Me

If you turned the “volume-up” on this condition you may find that it fits in the realms of being called “Exposure Anxiety” a feeling on a chronic level that falls into the three subtypes above. I would say that in my early years I had the 3rd one throughout my child and teenage hood as I grew into my twenties and was at the tail end of being employment in my mid teens I was thrust into a world of expectation from a social perspective that in many ways never let up. I never the less “kept going” and now at the age of thirty two I can say that the claws of this condition have shortened, nails smoothed and hands made smaller.

I would say it has an impact on me in specific areas so that is going from 80% to now at a more comfortable 30% and below I can show more of “myself”, be, share and talk in a more “connected manner” than I did even 10 years ago. Other things have changed to my environment, my purpose, life is but a rolling journey and that is the joy we can all celebrate and question at different stages in our lifetime.

My information processing being meaning deaf and meaning blind have changed, the tints have aided in those areas of visual perceptual challenges, and my meaning deafness is around 30% so I can keep a better track on conversation around me. My emotional processing and perception are still delayed that is a work in progress and I seek not to compare but to be the closest version of “me” I can be.

When we look at other people’s autism “fruit salads”, we begin to wonder what is the “driver” to what I am seeing? Is it sensory perceptual? Is it dietary disabilities? Is it seizure related? Is it emotional perception? Is it language processing? Etc. By looking at the person’s “systems” you are dealing into those areas of honest and humble questioning, what will you find and how will you adapt?

Common Threads Of Humanity?

Do people with autism have much more in common with those without? My answer is yes they do the only difference is the areas of that person’s “autism” that is challenging some to smaller more residual degrees others to more severe and/or profound degrees it is not the matter of it being a linear spectrum from “classic” autism to “asperger’s syndrome” but the also the palette of grey and what is specific to that person is what matters. All human beings have “system” it may be just that I have taken the time (which anybody could choose to do in my circumstance) and work out “what that is”.

Looking At People As People?

If one ignores the poison of the autism militancy which is political and unhelpful in its projection and reasoning one must look at the person and what “autism” is for them and means for them.

Paul Isaacs 2019


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Autism, “Stored Responses”, Language, Processing Delay & Unconscious Thought

Language Processing Delay 2017

Note This from a personal perspective

Conscious and Unconscious Processing

The problem even though I have progressed in many areas is switching between conscious and unconscious patterns of thinking. This in turn has an impact on my ability to keep up with incoming information (in this case verbal) and the ability to think consciously about what and how to answer and also gauge it’s emotional significance.

“Stored Responses” & Unknown Knowing

I have come to realise that have rapporteur of “stored verbal responses” which come out at moments when I cannot process information in real-time these can look sometimes stilted, disinterested or “vacant” this is because I have level of social-emotional agnosia due to visual perceptual disorders and receptive/expressive language disorders as a result of aphasia. This jutting between a conscious response and conscious acknowledgment when most of my thought process’ that are “connected” in unconscious states means I now looking at ways of trying to marry my thoughts in a more connected manner. This comes through typing in which the information I type hasn’t consciously gone in and unconsciously comes out as Donna puts comes as a surprise to the person in question as it may do to the people around them.

“Being” and “Sensing”

Donna Williams explains how the senses of a person with autism work, suggesting that they are ‘stuck’ at an early development stage common to everyone. She calls this the system of sensing, claiming that most people move on to the system of interpretation which enables them to make sense of the world. In doing so, as well as gaining the means of coping with the world, they lose various abilities which people with autism retain.

I can exist in state of being for hours on end that is were my process’s lie I observe without a conscious “knowing” or “interpretation” of what is going on around me however on an introspective level I connect far more broadly and deeply through touch and texture. I am primarily a kinesthetic thinker/processor.

Being A Silent Observer

I have observed the world “silently” however I wasn’t really “silent” in the literal sense speech was not only delayed but late to be functionally meaningful, words swilled in my mind however grasping them for context and meaning was a struggle to say the least, as I grew into later infanthood my verbal speech impinged on my jutting my conscious thought with “sounds” that did not represent the “inner world” I resided in.

I am solitary and idiosyncratic and that has no doubt coloured my perceptions as much as the other part of my “autism fruit salad”.

Paul Isaacs 2017


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To Polly – A Friend – Thank You

 

To Polly A Friend

Words cannot plunder

The source of your wonder

A light in the bleak dark

Words that make their mark

A kindly soul with the gift to give

A balanced example of how to live

A humbling experience your facts and humour

Your words, pictures and  legacy will forever nearer and sooner

Empowerment 

What can I say? I often have wondered how to put into words how I feel about the impact that Polly has made on my life, the words, the support, the chuckles over our skype chats the personal and professional guidance that was given in the blink of an eye. She has helped broaden my professional career, empowered me to find myself and ultimately has given me invaluable tools.

Setting Examples 

The kindness and concern the building blocks shown by words and example and the insatiable zest for life and to “just be” in your own skin, to have fun, to be serious, to be balanced, to be caring, to be selfless, to be you, to understand me and other, to be giving and to be caring, to not put yourselves above and to finally find yourself and pave your own journey so you may have the tools to experience life anew. That is what I think when I will remember Polly a shining example of balance, breaking of barriers, retaining self, not selling out and creating her own path.

Connecting 

I meet Polly briefly in 2009 at a conference and connected with her on social media a few years later. I value her friendship because she showed me that relationships can be built on safe, secure and balanced foundations and to expect anything less is the time to move on and pave something new. I am fully aware people knew Polly far more than I did in terms of length of time and so forth. I would like to say that the impact she made on me and her continued friendship online put faith and self-belief back into a realistic and doable perspective.

I thank you Polly for giving me the tools to empower, for giving me hope, laughs, reality and solutions and just being you.

Nobody Nowhere – Paper Owl Films 

Paul Isaacs 2017

 


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Keep The Doors Open Without Judgement

People Are People

In times of great strife one must always remember that they are a person – a sense of autonomy is a matter of perspective as well as a matter who you have spent you connected time with before you have gone to the land of solitude – it brings great clarity to be at peace in solitude as does to of person’s who share the same balance as you do.

Do not see colour, race, gender, culture but see people for whom they are without judgement or hate to have that perception means that your eyes will always be meet with closed doors the more doors that closed the more your world becomes smaller the more the smaller your world becomes they less you see of it, the less see of it the more you will be consumed by your own judgement.

Like a person asking themselves the same question that they now the answer the perpetual loop that may never be broken – Live beyond the loop, beyond doors and beyond the narrow – live in the open let you mind be free.

Paul Isaacs 2016


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Ending Racism – The Illogical Perception That Hating Others Is “Right” It Isn’t

Why?

I often wondering why some would hate someone for such reasons? – How someone gets to the point of were they hate someone so much that they feel the immoral validation to take peoples lives just to “prove a point” or to “send a message” this sort of mentality not only needs to be challenged but also be challenged to  why someone would have such a perception in the first place. It is simply wrong.

Hate Does Nothing

Hate has never caused any solutions nor solved any problems but by ending hate that will have many positive outcomes for all people, equalism, opportunities, positive validation (being listen too and acknowledged as person) and communities coming together. 🙂

STAYWOKE – Together, we will END racism and police violence in America. Get involved. #StayWoke

Paul Isaacs 2015


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What A World Before “Typical” Interpretation Means To Me

Note – This is from a personal and developmental perspective.

I have been writing for many many months now about my personhood and my developmental disability and how they interact – interjecting, unraveling and pinpointing different aspects of it hopefully helping anybody who connects with it. I world before meaning let’s start with that.

What Is Meaning?

Visual, Language Processing & Auditory Information

That means for me when sounds what ever they are (words or in the environment) have limited and/or no origin and the origins are not there in an instant nor is the the association so it has to be found in a different way.

For me things have to be touched in order to have meaning (my visual field is far too fragmented to get make that sort of instant connection) experienced through tactile association. Information and words have to be brought to life through gesture, elevated and exaggerated tone, movement and objects of reference like sculpting a piece of art giving meaning and connectivity.

They Way I Process

I don’t live in a world of logic, practical semantics or pragmatics nor do I work out the world that way. I create but I don’t have a vast cognitive landscape things for me have to be more refined.

My emotions come more through my movements more than my words (although I can use both poetry to extract) I like things that don’t require any complicated reasoning or explanation.

Sensory Explorer 2

Such as

  • The roughness of bark
  • The texture of moss
  • The feeling of swimming colours
  • The movement of the water
  • Sounds and words that don’t have an origin but sound and feel nice
  • Sculpting faces
  • Patterning movements

Autism & Asperger’s Profiles

I have Autism and knowing to difference between an Autism profile and a Asperger’s is needed in order to understand the mechanics but never over invest or over define a person by their condition always remember personhood is something people all share. If people keep thinking and educating that autism has one profile, one look and one method of using interventions then we need to listen and be more inclusive. 🙂

Paul Isaacs 2014