Paul Isaacs' Blog

Autism from the inside


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Reflections on Autism Diagnosis & Being A Person

People ask me at times what was it like to be diagnosed with autism? Did I find myself, the answer that is I understood PARTS of how I function faceblindness, object blindness, meaning blindness, sensory intergration, aphasia, self and other processing, learning difficulties, co-conditions etc.

My parents said you do realise you are still Paul meaning I am a person first and don’t let these things above define “me” because I am a person first. I like art, music, drawing, movies, writing and poertry because I am a person first. I am solitary, idiosyncratic, mecurial, serious, silly because I am a person first and foremost.

With all these labels I have they are a pointer to PARTS of my functioning not my totality strip away all labels and their will always be human being.

Paul Isaacs 2015

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Can Over Investing (Directly or Indirectly) In “Autism Identity” Be Damaging?

Me and Dad“AUTISM” & “ASPERGER’S” ARE THEY ALL OF A PERSON? 

In the context of “Autism” or “Asperger’s” it is not “the person” it is the way the person processes information, cognitive, perceptual, language processing, gut and auto-immune issues, learning disabilities, learning difficulties etc – that isn’t “the person” it is how they process information, if someone without autism was hypothetically diagnosed “non-autism syndrome”  (I dislike the word “neurotypical” for the reasons of reverse prejudice and that fact it doesn’t exist not one person fits in a tidy demographic) do you think they would say that is “all of me”, “all of my being”, “all of my soul” maybe not for the personality traits which get lost in the the self (either projected on to the person or the person themselves) through seeing the diagnosis as “all” not “part of” I find this rather sad.

DID A LATE DIAGNOSIS HELP ME GAIN ME SENSE OF “ME”?

As a person diagnosed in my my late twenties maybe indirectly that has helped me see myself living as person not a “label” that to me is far more freeing I am happy go lucky, idiosyncratic, mercurial, solitary, creative, poetic, silly, have a laugh, like nice meals and good company the list goes on I am a “human” and there is great empowerment in reminding ANYBODY (regardless of disability or otherwise) that they are human/person first.

PERSONALITY TYPES 

I have noted some personality types I have regardless of being on the autism spectrum or not all  human beings have differing personality types.

“ONE SIZE FITS ALL” & POPULAR STEREOTYPES 

I also question the use of a “one size fits all demographic” if you think about it that makes no sense at all how can a person with autism be like ever other person with autism? Think the same? Process things same etc. I think it is about looking at the specifics and the mechanics not the stereotypes or generalisations that are about (all people with autism created things that progressed humanity for example). How about socially binding things? The real world with real people in it? How about looking at that instead even if a person on spectrum did create something unique shouldn’t the credit be on the creation not just the that fact that the person has autism? If anybody else had created something wouldn’t you do the same thing?

People get left out, feel more different than they may have initially felt, parents maybe left confused also, its time to strip away the politics and if one is going to be any help all lets focus of the what works. As a point of the reflection the baby in the top right hand corner what do you see? Do you see a baby? a little person/human-being?

Paul Isaacs 2015


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In The End We Are ALL Human Beings & That Is Fine

To stay grounded and not get whipped up be the construct of “other” through “fame” – to be seen as a “being” that is on an equal plane is far more rewarding, beneficial socially, emotional binding empowering. People are after all are people and one is no better nor worse than anybody else be yourself.

Then maybe we would live in more selfless (rather than selfish) society.

Paul Isaacs 2015


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Moving On – Political Egalitarianism

Egalitarian_and_equality_logoWe Can Do This

Moving Forward – With the recent positive and empowering comments made below with regards to the Government yes I believe we can move forward if people help each other we can challenge many things and call upon common sense and reality to do so, call upon the will for better future were Egalitarianism and equality for all, regardless of class, social status, gender, colour or religion – with social economy made fairer and accessible for all, social security/benefits more person-centred and empowering the ill and disabled, NHS to still be the NHS, the rich and poor gap to cease and to an end to hopelessness and poverty. I still live in hope and were there is hope there is a vision of reality that accounts everybody so despite this government coming people can still stand for a fair social world. 🙂

Let’s do this! 🙂

Paul Isaacs 2015


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The Autism World – When Our Hearts & Ears Have To Be Open To All Realities

Things Need To Change?

It’s my opinion that indulgent self-gratification and the selfishness in parts of “autism world” is what I feel will eventually make it implode and full-apart. If it all becomes about “me,me,me”, point scoring, back-stabbing (being two faced), office politics, game playing, “them and us” separation, object using (psychopathy and sociopathy) not listening, stereotype investing and not learning then people like myself (who try to do their best to empower and stay true to themselves) and others on and off the autism spectrum are going to continue to get hurt, told to be silent not believed or to just told “get on with it” no one seems to care about such repercussions on one’s character and mental health. I process things slowly but get there in the end.

If we listened to one another and appreciated other’s realities we would learn SO MUCH more. It is not the act it is the heart of where the act comes from I do things to empower not monopolise or manipulate.

Conclusion

Listening is a very important tool it means not only showing an interest but in the context of this chapter it means taking into account someone’s thoughts and feelings. What journey have you been through? What paths did you take to get there? Every human being is on there own specific journey and is important to acknowledge that.

“Them and “Us” – We Are All Human 

We can all learn from each other if politics and tired old stereotypes which are churned out through oppression in and around the “autism world” then voices will and are most certainly going to be lost. The them and us scenario causes friction ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and NT (“Neurotypical”) or vice versa.

We as human beings are all equal and when neurotypical  becomes a loaded word (spiteful, derogatory, other or sub-human etc) that is not right. I say people who aren’t on the spectrum myself. Inclusion is about everyone getting involved in the context of this chapter it means that both views are valid.

Conclusion 

All views and opinions wherever someone is on the spectrum or not should be taken into account that is because one can learn from the act of sharing each other views, what they mean. How do they differ? What are the similarities and having healthy look at the whats and whys.

Neurotypical? A Word That Doesn’t Make Sense?

What is an NT? There is no such thing in my opinion. We are all human and taking all realities into account is far more positive and inclusive than creating what I call man-made barriers we could from metaphorical perspective “holds hands” in this regards everybody has a story unique to  a view and/or viewpoints that are as equal and as valid as the next persons.

Conclusion

If someone calls someone a name that is meant to make them feel worthless that has knock on effect on their self-esteem and self worth “typical” doesn’t sound very nice and if the situation was reversed I am sure it would feel equally hurtful. When I talk about equalism I am meaning everybody. Setting good examples is a way move forward.

Militancy – When People Take Things Too Far 

That is true when people attack whether they are on the spectrum or not – one must take responsibility for their actions. That is what worries me there should be no single representation of autism even by people who are in a position of being an advocate on the autism spectrum. One can only talk about their profile and how autism affects them – the key is that their so many other different and diverse profiles.

Militancy creates too many barriers and shuts off a lot other people on and off the spectrum who have different ideas, profiles and presentations. Surely hearing different views is good?

Conclusion

If we talked and discussed our views in a manner which is respectful we may learn that we share things and have insights that are common – however one may learn that are viewpoints and ideals come from different areas this isn’t a bad thing but when views get extreme it has a “pebble in a pound” effect it causes problems for other whose view may be lost in the mix of extremism.

Autism Politics – The Two Extremes

You have people who are are curists and people who are culturists both demographics go to the extreme to get their points of view across to others – what saddens me is that both have points to say but the way in which they’re either presented and said are not practical nor respectable .Wouldn’t it be nice if people listened – I stand neutral believing that everyone is equal (you hear that a lot in the post I know) and human.

Fruit Salad Analogy Copyright D.Williams

Fruit Salad Analogy Copyright D.Williams

What is Autism?

Autism is different and unique for each person who has the it – it’s made of different “ingredients” that means that the overall profile is unique to that person how they process information, if they have additional learning disabilities or not, if they have food intolerances, auto-immune disorders and so forth – in other words it is a set of pre-existing conditions and has a “stacking effect” and a point of origin which in itself is unique to each person- Olga Bogdashina calls it Autisms  and Donna Williams calls it a Fruit Salad. That is why all realities of Autism are different and diverse.

Looking Towards the Future – Equalism and Egalitarianism

If one would strip all the militancy, bullying and aggression by people on and off the autism spectrum – would that create a bigger pathway of diversity? Would more voices be heard? More realities listened too and acknowledged? Would new ideas flourish? I certainly hope so. We are equal in this world and no one is above or below anyone else we all have our stories to tell.

Final Conclusion – Everybody Having A Say 

Every human being on earth has right to be listened too, supported, acknowledged, cared for a appreciated for being them and seeing their personhood. So by bringing everyone into the scene you don’t  have “them” and “us” you see and have different points of views for and by different people on the spectrum or not but equal in their validity, by not having extremism you having balanced acknowledgment of both agreement and disagreement.

Inclusion is Bringing a Diverse set of views from Different Places

  • People on the whole of the autism spectrum
  • People who are functionally non-verbal
  • People with autism and learning disabilities
  • People from different cultures and backgrounds
  • Parents, family members, carers and guardians
  • Autism professionals (neurologists, psychologists, psychiatrists etc)
  • Educational teams
  • Other services

Paul Isaacs 2015


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Why I Have Autism (Rather Than Asperger’s Syndrome) And The Importance In The Differences

Sensory Explorer

Different Worlds – All Human

I think in the ever growing diversity of the distinct and person-centred presentations of autism it is important to know and acknowledge the crucial differences between Autism & Asperger’s Syndrome. Both are which are forms of autism but have different “mechanics” that drive them. I have Autism (as opposed to Asperger’s Syndrome).

I live in a world before the literal, words tumble in my mind into sounds I love tone, melody and beats they brings my world alive. I live in world world where visuals hold no significance fragmented and not in my “mind’s eye” and need to be touched in order to be “seen”.

I like elevated gesture and tone when people speak dead words wander alive into my mind and give them meaning and circumstance. Where a sense of “self” is not wanting to be exposed by the directness of people but at the same time I want to understand “other” even if I struggle to at times. I am empathic young man and this not through lack of care nor wanting. I care deeply.

Logic and literalism are not the name of the game for me to “decode” the word around me it’s sensing, patterning and feeling to gain an “understanding”. I am using a different part of my brain. So as with AS and Autism has many different presentations too this is mine. I think it is important to know differences it has helped me so much to know that.

Autism & Asperger’s Syndrome – Differences? Why?

Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome are both forms of autism – there have unique diverse characteristics in terms of “mechanics” on the surface one may say they look the same but is one delves deeper you realise that the what is going on may be different in terms either trajectory and/or origin. Everyone on the spectrum has a unique profile – Olga Bogdashina calls it autisms and Donna Williams calls it an autism fruit salad both are saying that it is person-centred, 3 Dimensional, diverse and different. Understanding the differences is just as beneficial in terms of education, learning, development, environment, identity, mental health, health systems and more

Donna Williams 2011‘Autism’, (by contrast with Asperger’s Syndrome), can be about the world before the ability to keep up with literal meaning. In this regard it can be a very different world to the world of interpretation and ‘meaning’.”

“I was asked what I thought the main different feature was between Autism and Asperger’s. I think you’ll maybe find in reading through the site on brain hemisphere specialisation that there are many Aspies who may be better at left brain stuff and many Auties who may be more right brain but not nearly recognised for the abilities they do have as much as they are recognised for the left-brain abilities they don’t have.”

©  Donna Williams

Autism Diverse Profiles – “A Stacking Of Pre-Existing Conditions” – “Aspinauts”

With that being said there are people how are dipping both toes – (developmentally and profile-wise) into both the Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome profiles, yes it is that fluid like a pot with many paints inside some.  Everyone has a story to tell.

Copyright D.Williams from her Blog

Differences between Aspergers and Autism ‘fruit salads’?

  • higher degrees and severity of gutimmunemetabolic disorders, epilepsy and genetic anomalies impacting health systems – This is related to the family and history of cancer of both sides of my family including a recognised gene deletion 
  • mood, anxiety, compulsive disorders commonly observed since infancy – This is in my book “Living Through The Haze” in my early years I was showing signs of these issues from pre-school onwards
  • commonly amazing balance but commonly hypotonia
  • simultagnosia/meaning blindness rather than just scotopic sensitivity – Visual fragmentation and “seeing without meaning” is specifically to do with both simultagnosia, context blindness and semantic agnosia
  • verbal agnosia/meaning deafness – I have problem with filtering words with meaning they revert back sounds the larger the chunks of information
  • verbal communication impairments (aphasia, oral dyspraxia, verbal agnosia and associated echolalia and commonly secondary Selective Mutism)- “losing words within me”, having problems with articulation, patterning, themeing and feeling my own langauge (before interpartive language), reading information without meaning, echolalia and when speech was gained
  • higher severity of LD/Dyslexia/agnosias – Yes this relates to understanding/processing information
  • tendency toward OCD/Tourettes, also higher rate of Schizotypal PD, DPD is common and tends to be more severe – Yes developed OCD aged 12, tic disorder and throat clearing age 8, Schizotypal and Borderline PDs
  • higher tendency to Exposure Anxiety more than AvPD – Exposure Anxiety in Childhood/Teenage Years and  and Early Adulthood
  • higher tendency toward dissociative states (dissociation, derealisation, depersonalisation) – Yes this relates to me
  • poetry by those with autism as opposed to AS commonly indicates those with autism can have high levels of introspection, insight – Yes this does relate to me
  • ADHD extremely common co-occurrence – Hyperactivity as a child

Related Blogs on Subject 

Studies – Differences Between Asperger’s Syndrome & Autism

Why I have Autism And Not Asperger’s Syndrome?

Differences between Aspergers and Autism ‘fruit salads’? 

Paul Isaacs 2015


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Egalitarianism & Equalism – Is That The Way Forward For Autism?

Egalitarian doctrines maintain that all humans are equal in fundamental worth or social status”

Cambian Event 2014 12Everyone Is Precious & Equal  

In the context of the autism world (and my outlook in general) this is where I stand equality is for everyone, everybody who is in this world – I look at both sides of the the coin and take into account peoples realities (that makes me neutral/moderate/in the middle) that means that you look in a more three dimensional perspective of peoples diverse realities you cannot speak for all but one can learn from EACH OTHER through listening, experiencing and connecting. That is what is needed in this world kindness and empathy and accepting other people’s views.

That means the inclusion of 

  • Parents/Carers/Guardians
  • All Experiences On The Spectrum (The Whole Spectrum)
  • Professionals In The Field Of Autism (Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Neurologists, Biologists etc)
  • Social Support Services
  • Educational Services
  • Housing Services
  • And Many More

Militancy & Extremism & Is Not Equality 

No it isn’t is is quite the reverse it subjects people, suppresses them into a forced mode of thought and/or perception this means that voices potentially get lost in the process making people feel if they don’t go along with this – they are out of the “club”, lonely or worse. All views are of equal valor in the context. They should not violent, immature of disrespectful to someones character – all views even in disagreement can be acknowledged and politely disagreed with. This is why I am not a “culturist” or an “curist” but I believe in a balanced manner both sides have the right to their views it is in the way that they’re expressed and what is behind them.

DONNA WILLIAMS BLOG – AUTISM POLITICS

MANUEL CASANOVA – NEURODIVERSITY

Person with Autism 

I also try my best to live with the good cards I was given not over-investing in my autism being the defining factor of my being (but having a healthy acknowledgment of it that it’s there) but also thinking about other qualities I have such as being a writer, poet and artist – I do have disability, I do have autism and I have a “mild” learning disability that is true but I am a human being first and foremost. And for someone to be seen as person equal to everyone else is a basic human right for anyone.

Social Equality – It’s for Everyone 

Accepting experiences is through the understanding that everybody was born equal, no labels, no social status, no preconceptions just born a little person preparing to grow-up on what ever path is grown from development, environment and/or otherwise everybody has the right to have a roof over their head, three meals a day, a wage/payment which can support themselves and their families, a benefit system that cares for the disabled and people with mental illnesses, a government that looks out for all it’s people, wars quenched not and man made barriers be fallen so every person knows the commonality of being human is that everybody is all different and let people be novices to other peoples experiences so another person gains anew. People all deserve the right to be equal.

Paul Isaacs 2014