Paul Isaacs' Blog

Autism from the inside


Phoebe Caldwell – Intensive Interaction And Diverse Communication Profiles Within Autism

As a person on the spectrum I am a firm believer that whenever you are on the the spectrum you are on the spectrum you have a right to have a meaningful and productive life.

Phoebe Caldwell Copyright P.Caldwell

Phoebe Caldwell

Phoebe Caldwell

Tapping into the communication profile of the person is key and she looks at all aspects of the profile

  • Sensory Integration Disorder
  • Receptive and Expressive Language (Aphasia)
  • Telegraphic Speech
  • Gestural Language
  • Rhythm, Pitch and Voice Modulation
  • Touch (if a preference)
  • Exposure Anxiety & Emotional Regulation
  • Neurological Pain
  • Body Agnosias
  • Person’s Environment

Communication – Thinking Of The Person’s Sensory Perceptions

Phoebe looks into the diversity of these communication issues from person to person as the brain’s of these person’s has different things going on, making connections in ways of relevance to that person, ways of meaning to that person it brings results of happiness, lowering anxiety and integration which is both positive and hopeful. I believe that rigid “models of communication” that sold as the way of communicating with a person with autism are wrong because it’s all down to the uniqueness of the person’s profile in other words there is no one way.

Pattern, Theme & Feel – Donna Williams

A world before typical interpretive language could mean that person has created their own language to try and integrate with the world around them, I know my early years I did and it was seen as “gibberish”, “mutterings” but I was trying in a world of visual and auditory distortion to reach out.

  • “Eeeeee!!!” is “happy” which includes clapping and jumpingBubbles
    Low sounds “ugggg!!!” – Is Unhappy
  • And/or “clicking” sounds with my tongue – Represents Anxiety
    Head hitting – Processing problems
  • Chest thumping – I would like come back to this world please
    Head banging – I can’t cope I need some help
  • Sniffing, Licking, Tapping, Mouthing, Rubbing Surroundings – What are you?Sculpting Faces – Who are you?
  • Tilting Head – I Remember You! And I like your company

I still find language difficult but I try my best – a lot what Phoebe does in terms of gestural language and telegraphic speech are from a personal perspective with beneficial for me to get meaning.


Phoebe has an excellent presentation style and projects with passion her over 40 years experience with working with adults on the autism spectrum, she sees the people she works with as people and person’s first which is refreshing to hear and it shows in her work and the people she has helped of the many years.

Paul Isaacs 2014



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Autism, Aphasia & Visual Agnosias – Telegraphic Language & Gestural Communication

Note – This is from a personal perspective of having Aphasia and Visual agnosias as apart of my Autism


As a child I appeared “deaf” this was because of severe receptive and expressive language processing other words I have used in my blog are related – pure wordness, verbal auditory agnosia and meaning deafness. This is to do with the left hemisphere of the brain – even now words can tumble into “sounds” with no auditory or contextual origin I hear melody rise and fall but no meaning, nothing to grasp. The words are “dead” and not brought to life.


I struggle to gain visual context, things are see are fragmented, distorted, tursh and flat with no depth no origins, foreign intriguing and amazing as well as bewildering and confusing. I don’t live in a world world with logical and literalism as a backup for my lack of visual understanding I must “feel” for  understanding and contextualisation.

Simultagnosia – Visual Fragmentation – Object Blindness

Inability to recognize multiple elements in a visual presentation, one object or some elements of a scene can be appreciated but not the display as a whole.

Semantic Agnosia – Meaning Blindness

An agnosia that is a loss of the ability to visually recognise an object while maintaining the use of non-visual sensory systems such as feeling, tapping, smelling, rocking or flicking the object to recognise the object.

Prosopagnosia – Faceblindness

inability to recognize the faces of other people or one’s own features in a mirror, due to damage to the underside of both occipital lobes.

Visual-Verbal Agnosia

visual-verbal agnosia (also referred to as pure word blindness or alexia without agraphia).Individuals with this disorder show a marked reduction in their ability to read the printed word, through their writing and other language modalities remain essentially intact.

Hemispatial Neglect 

Being “blind” to one side of my body and and visual field this includes motor coordination this also relates to visual spatial disorders and seeing things in 2D which can be related (at least in my case to visual object agnosia).

Homonymous hemianopsia 

Processing “half” my visual field.

Telegraphic Language 

This clipped form of language helps me if you want to get a point and also if you want to use emotive language etc.

Gestural Signing and Movements

In order to me to understand the words and where they are going (remember I am not literal and I am processing before typical interpretive language) externalise use your body, your hands and exaggerated gestures creating a play in front my eyes and also use melody in your voice (I am not tonal deaf either) to help my grasp the movements to give them meaning this also helps because I cannot internlise words because of the visual agnosias.

Kate Bush – Wuthering Heights 

Kate Bush – Bush Babooshka 

Think of how Kate tells the story in this video with melody and movement using her hands and body to tell the story.


Differences in the communicative use of gesticulation and pantomime in a case of aphasia PDF (conclusion below)


This study has shown that both gesticulation and pantomime can be used communicatively in a person with aphasia.
Importantly however, this may differ per communicative setting. Furthermore, even though a gesture mode might be
impaired it can be useful still. In clinical practice each of these gesture modes should be assessed separately in
different types of communicative settings. In these assessments the emphasis should be on comprehensibility
rather than on the correct use of a representation technique

“Pseudo” Social Emotional Agnosia 

The reason why I miss tone (melody), sarcasm, idioms in language isn’t because I am literal and have a semantic pragmatic issue with language it is because words (all of them in some case)  tumble into sounds or I pick up on key words. The reason why I don’t “see” body language and facial expression is because of visual agnosias and visual fragmentation and that is an important difference to mention.

Objects Of Reference

Objects can create relaties in front of me I remember movements, patterns, themes and feels what you are saying – objects can create contextual realities for me as you move them and uses them as examples it grounds me with what you are saying and more importantly meaning.

I have an Autism profile not an Asperger’s Profile 

Fruit Salad Analogy Copyright D.Williams

Fruit Salad Analogy Copyright D.Williams

I think this is very important element to point out I see people with AS and their profiles as unique I am intrigued and amazed with how they use language, strong logical reasoning and literalism to decipher the social world and other elements of it.

Classic Autism 

Although I don’t fit the “typical presentation” of classic autism  that is what my presentation and what my processing and profile innards are (people would have to live with me for a week to experience my processing world).

I was diagnosed with high functioning autism in 2010 with my parents giving a diagnostic history by a clinical psychiatrist this was because of –

and scotopic sensitivity syndrome in 2012 by an Irlen specialist with a additional recognition of severe autism (on my diagnostic report) because of –

Profile Differences

I don’t fit the presentation of Asperger’s Syndrome and these differences are very important in terms of mythbusting what Autism “looks like”. It as diverse set of pre-existing conditions that are stacked that then create the unique profiles and presentations.

Learning and Likes

  • I love melody and movement and music, sound bites, “sounds” of words etc – I one of the reasons why I like certain TV shows and movies isn’t to do with being a visual processor or thinker
  • When I move I think when I think I move
  • The bigger the gestures (with language) the more context I get
  • I have melodies, jingles and sound bites in my head a lot of the time – Musical Ear Syndrome 
  • I don’t learn by pictures they don’t compute and words must be “brought alive”

Remember every profile is unique and different that includes personalities, co-conditions and what “pieces make up the persons Autism. 🙂 

Paul Isaacs 2014

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Inclusion In The “Autism World” Means Looking Into All Realities – Not Projecting Stereotypes

All Autism Profiles Are Different

Every person with Autism has their unique profile, ways of processing, styles of learning, some have metabolic issues, some are not visual thinkers, some have different ways of communicating other than speech that is valid and equal. In other words Autism isn’t “one thing” so no one person can say (including myself) that Autism  is one thing and one reality for everybody, it is person specific, profile specific and environmentally specific.

Projecting True & Diverse Realities 

By acknowledging this you break down barriers, stereotypes and assumptions – inclusion is about acknowledging the realities of people and not projecting and feeding stereotypes which ironically excludes and alienates many people as a result. I don’t say “us” and “we” in speeches because it is my profile.

Some people have an Aspie profile others have an Autie profile and some people have a mixture and can relate to both. I have an profile Autie in terms of the mechanics.

People who also have use different forms of communication to get their words out, connect with friends and family have a right have their realities be know and and acknowledged as well as people with Autism and a Learning Disability too the same thing applies in terms of inclusion.

Validation Of Personhoods

I believe that all being said that personhood should be valid part of acknowledgment for people on the spectrum – so that an grow in a balanced manner.

Paul Isaacs 2014


Please Include Everyone On The Autism Spectrum, Listening Is Positive & No One Person Can Speak For Everyone On the Autism Spectrum

Sensory Explorer







I suppose I feel this needs to be said – “what about?”  That is the question I feel compelled to ask it when it comes to the “Autism World”  I feel there needs to be more positive and inclusive opportunities/voices for people with Classic autism with or without a Learning Disability – they deserve to have their say, as do their parents and their loved ones it’s out of fairness? Surely?


I write this in fear that these folks are forgotten when they are the people who are in specialist/residential services. These people are warriors believe me and they have to be acknowledged more. I have classic Autism and a Learning Disability but I’m not speaking (and can’t)  for everyone who has this diagnosis. (that would be unfair). 


I am pointing out that they need a platform to speak/communicate their needs and opinions.  They’re clever, intuitive, intelligent folks with a lot to give and people can learn a lot in the process.  Let their personhood’s shine.  🙂 Let’s listen.


Don’t be afraid to go against the grain and be “the ol ‘square peg” this I why all people on the spectrum should have their opinions heard, profiles acknowledged (in a balanced manner and fair manner) and personhood recognised first. 🙂 I can only speak about my profile and how Autism is for me I cannot speak for others that would misleading and unfair that is why I don’t say us and we during my presentations, but I and me. If people relate to it excellent if they don’t that is excellent to – I learn from others on the spectrum to because all profiles are diverse and different. 🙂


Lets strip militancy, bullying and dictatorial behaviors it causes so many problems for people. By having a beautiful mixture of balanced views (in which people can agree and disagree in a healthy manner) from people with Asperger’s Syndrome, Autism, with and without a Learning Disability, Users of alternate communication, Parents, Professionals, Educational staff it creates positive energy. Everyone has a story to tell. 🙂


Giving all folks on the spectrum a chance is so needed, lets strip all the politics out of it and listen to people’s hearts and experiences from all folks on the spectrum in equal measure – that would be lovely. 🙂


I have said before that I’m not a a “curist” and I’m not an “ablist” but a “neutral” because I believe everyone has a story to tell without going to unhealthy extremes if we listened with our hearts we would learn about each others experiences.


See someone with Autism as a person not a set of “traits and symptoms” – this isn’t out of militancy that I say this but out of compassion and dignity – everyone is a person so therefore everyone is equal (even if people for what ever reason don’t treat someone with equality) – I’m not “special” because of my Autism nor I’m “unique” I’m just a person living/being the greatest gift is to give someone the dignity of being recognised as a person. I don’t belong to any “club” or “group” because I don’t want to be defined by it – I live my life as free as possible and as diverse as possible. 

Paul Isaacs 2014


Autism & Mythbusting – Challenging the Stereotypes  


So the post below about why I have Autism and a Learning Disability – What is that all about?  Mythbusting, demystifying and unrevealing the tired old stereotypes that still persist in the Autism world, were negative sometimes even militant memes exist and the “one voice for all” is hailed as king, no one can speak for everyone that is impossible but we can all help each other


The spectrum is so vast you have people who speak with their mouth and do or don’t have a Learning Disability you have people who speak and communicate in other ways that do or do not have Learning Disability. 


I thank people like

Donna Williams

Donna Williams Copyright D.Williams and C. Samuel

Donna Williams Copyright D.Williams and C. Samuel











Sydney Edmond

Copyright Sydney & Lisa Edmond

Sydney Edmond Copyright Sydney & Lisa Edmond














 Jennifer O’Toole

Jennifer O'Toole Copyright Asperkids

Jennifer O’Toole Copyright Asperkids












Rudy Simone

Rudy Simone 2 jpg









 Carly Fleischmann


Carly Fleischmann Copyright Carly & Arthur Fleischmann









Peyton Goddard 

Peyton Goddard

Peyton Goddard Copyright Peyton & Dianne Goddard















They all have very empowering messages for people with Autism and balance this out with seeing themselves as people with personalities and valued personhoods that they want to seen for but also want others to understand the diversity of Autism and it’s profiles – giving this back in balance is so needed – I am a person with Autism is far more liberating than saying Autistic Person. 


Paul Isaacs  2014 

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Giving Something Back & Helping Others on the Autism Spectrum – Donna Williams & Jennifer O’Toole

Donna Williams Copyright D.Williams and C. Samuel

Donna Williams Copyright D.Williams and C. Samuel


I like Donna’s balanced, equality/humanitarian and holistic qualities that she brings to mix when talking, presenting and writing about Autism and how it is a Fruit Salad (D.Williams 1995/2005) in her many books she challenges tired stereotypes and brings inclusion for all on the spectrum which I agree with such as people who have a learning disability, people who are “seemingly” non-verbal and/or have both on the Autism spectrum. Breaking down the different “pieces” which makes a person’s unique profile and also letting everybody know that personhood is important for the person with autism themselves and others around them – and that everybody should have right to be heard and included in society. 🙂

Thanks Donna 😉





Me and Jennifer 2013

Me and Jennifer 2013


I like Jennifer’s positive attitude and with that gives practical and educational advice  to people on the autism spectrum – breaking down the old assumptions that people on the spectrum can’t learn through her presentations, books and videos she advocates for young folk on the spectrum giving not only them hope but also the parents, carers and guardians as well. This in turn is giving people a fair chance to live their life to full and has equal opportunities. She also also is very passionate about females on the spectrum and continues to advocate, educate and present to make not only people aware but the realities also. Jennifer is for inclusion for all in society. 🙂

Thanks Jennifer 😉






I like them both for their contributions to Autism and what that means for others and the wider world, I’m inspired by their selflessness, empowerment, positivity, encouragement and myth busting. I like that they have in turn empowered others on the spectrum to follow their own path (what ever that may be)! They have helped educational services, parents, people on the spectrum and more through their kindness and generosity. What amazing ladies they both are.


Paul Isaacs 2014



Inclusion For The Whole Spectrum -Learning Disabled & Functionally Non-Verbal People On The Autism Spectrum Have Voices Too

Dad and I Butlins 1991OVERVIEW

I recently went to a Autism Event and saw a wonderful lady with Autism and Learning Disabilities speaking about her life, likes, dislikes her partner and how she accesses the  the world with the help of her Ipad it was a real piece of empowerment to listen to her story, it shows the true diversity of Autism and the spectrum.


I saw more than “Autism” I saw a happy, content, out-going, confident, social individual  with for a zest for life and showed the importance of inclusion. 🙂


All people on the spectrum have a right to be heard we all have words of value to say, share and experience (people who are expressively non-verbal have word within their heads) and people with Autism and Learning Disabilities have words of equal value to, the true eclectic nature of the spectrum is what should be heard, understood, acknowledged and accepted. these are intelligent capable people too with reflective and empowering things to say. 🙂

Paul Isaacs 2014