Paul Isaacs' Blog

Autism from the inside


Leave a comment

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


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


5 Comments

Exposure Anxiety & Autism

Exposure Anxiety Image 2018

Exposure Anxiety was first written about in Nobody Nowhere in 1991 as a syndrome of involuntary and compulsive avoidance, diversion and retaliation responses.  A large section of my first text book, Autism; An Inside Out Approach in 1996, was dedicated to setting out strategies for managing, even reversing Exposure Anxiety.  In 2003 I wrote the first full book on Exposure Anxiety.

Published in 2003, Exposure Anxiety; The Invisible Cage of Involuntary Self Protection Responses, is the first ever text book by a person diagnosed with autism specifically focusing on co-morbid anxiety and impulse control disorders effecting those on the autistic spectrum.  It offers an innovative new approach to working with some of the most challenged people on the autistic spectrum.

Drawing on an ‘Indirectly-Confrontational’ approach, this 336 page book gives case studies and a wealth of strategies to reduce and progressively overcome the compulsive and involuntary avoidance, diversion and retaliation responses of Exposure Anxiety.   Exposure Anxiety is an ‘Invisible Cage’ that challenges the person to either side with it and identify self with their own compulsive self protection responses.

There’s is considerable overlap between Exposure Anxiety and conditions such as Pathological Demand Avoidance (first diagnosed in 2008), Oppositional Defiance Disorder (first in the literature around 2002), Avoidant Personality Disorder and Dependent Personality Disorder.  With this book actually written from an Inside-Out Approach, by someone who actually lived their entire life with and ultimately managed then overcame the condition, those looking for strategies for managing and reducing these conditions may find this book extremely useful.

Donna Williams

Motivational Differences Between Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome & Exposure Anxiety

As someone who has lived with chronic EA all my life this certainly different to PDA who may tolerate an audience (in a social context) I do not while with PDA is triggered by DEMANDs. I am triggered by EXPOSURE which is completely different in terms of motivations.

Exposure Anxiety, Personality Types & “Triggers” 

People with EA have a lack of sense of “self” this it true people with EA may see their condition as the very barrier to showing other’s themselves. I like my own company so naturally being solitary that isn’t a problem, also a lack of sense of self can be seen in people who are mercurial and fear loneliness (real or otherwise) those personality types I have.

If you wanted to want, wanted to be, wanted to co-exist but your EA was crippling you from doing so because of being noticed, awareness of existing etc, that would mean you were in a hidden battle a battle happening when nbeing triggered by the co-existense of other people, with the WANT and the  EA being in polar opposites and it being seen as ego dystonic.

ego-dystonic [e″go-dis-ton´ik] denoting aspects of a person’s thoughts, impulses, attitudes, and behavior that are felt to be repugnant, distressing, unacceptable, or inconsistent with the rest of the personality. See also ego-syntonic.

In EA you can have chronic, diversion, retaliation responses which in my case were running away, freezing, selevtive mutism (once functional speech came) and shutting down when people were expectant of response, expectant of a reaction and expectant of one’s own existence. Did that mean I would hurt the people I liked? Yes of course and then feared loss through these actions.

A message of hope would to understand EA its mechanics and to get the best out of the person and who they want to be.

Paul Isaacs 2018