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Autism from the inside


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Wretches & Jabberers DVD – A Journey Into Autism

Image result for wretches and jabberers

A moving and delightful movie and about two men on the autism spectrum who are both “functionally non-verbal” finding their voices through facilitated and typed communication. Debunking the myths that people who cannot speak with their mouths are “retarded” or “intellectually disabled”.

Tracy and Larry are best of friends and their passion for advocacy leads them to meeting others around the globe who are also yearning and fondly sharing their experiences and voices with a wider audience, showing great empathy, compassion, introspection and deepness through the words that they write to a wider audience. Bringing people into their world and inviting others to think, reflect and reevaluate what “autism” and “intelligence” even look like.  Showing great feats of creativity.

There is warmth, humour, sadness and hope sometimes all at once when listening the candid words and hopefully the viewer will come out of this experience with greater level of acceptance and make less assumptions about what is going on on the “inside”. Please all presume competence.

I highly recommend this DVD.

Paul Isaacs 2017


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Autism, Mirroring and The “Sense Of Self”

Note- This is from a personal perspective

The mirror stage (French: stade du miroir) is a concept in the psychoanalytic theory of Jacques Lacan. The mirror stage is based on the belief that infants recognize themselves in a mirror (literal) or other symbolic contraption which induces apperception (the turning of oneself into an object that can be viewed by the child from outside themselves) from the age of about six months

The mirror stage is a phenomenon to which I assign a twofold value. In the first place, it has historical value as it marks a decisive turning-point in the mental development of the child. In the second place, it typifies an essential libidinal relationship with the body image. (Lacan, Some reflections on the Ego, 1953)

BubblesMirroring and “Sense Of Self”

What is it? – did I even understand that it was me? Or have conscious understanding of what my body was in space and time, in context of other objects and people – going through a pattern were my movements dictated the tone and the very nature of what I was doing in that moment – living in the moment going from one patterned place to another.

My Body, Movements & My Perceptual World

My body and face “alien” in its projection (and it’s projection back to me) movements from other didn’t connect that I had a body but when I was at pre-school my hyper-active movements around the little hut gave me a “sense of being” to some degree before I sat down again – sounds, jingles, colours, shapes and shine where the domineering force in a sense they were friends they gave me (at least in my world) a sense of connectivity and stimulation.

Friendships, Language & “Connecting”

My first “friends” where water and toilets – this was a sense of connecting with the outside but also a feeling it gave me on the inside I was aware of the love that my parents had for me that didn’t need to be extracted (it was a feeling of sensing) and that was a firm and positive basis of connectivity I had with others. So what helped?

  • Rough and tumble play with my Dad (helping me connect my own body and also perceive parts of my own and “recognise” my Dad by his facial features)
  • My allowing me to touch her hair (to “recognise” her)
  • Experience the world through touch – allowing me to touch, take my shoes and socks off in the back garden etc
  • Clipped telegraphic language

Mercurial Personality 

  1. Romantic attachment. Mercurial individuals must always be deeply involved in a romantic relationship with one person.
  2. Intensity. They experience a passionate, focused attachment in all their relationships. Nothing that goes on between them and other people is trivial, nothing taken lightly.
  3. Heart. They show what they feel. They are emotionally active and reactive. Mercurial types put their hearts into everything.
  4. Unconstraint. They are uninhibited, spontaneous, fun-loving, and undaunted by risk.
  5. Activity. Energy marks the Mercurial style. These individuals are lively, creative, busy, and engaging. They show initiative and can stir others to activity.
  6. Open mind. They are imaginative and curious, willing to experience and experiment with other cultures, roles, and value systems and to follow new paths.
  7. Alternate states. People with Mercurial style are skilled at distancing or distracting themselves from reality when it is painful or harsh.

Source: Oldham, John M., and Lois B. Morris. The New Personality Self-Portrait: Why You Think, Work, Love, and Act the Way You Do. Rev. ed. New York: Bantam, 1995.

How this “Personality Type” relates to me

Despite a lot of information processing and language issues with my autism profile I try to live life as a free spirit and appreciate others values and beliefs, sensitive to others realities and conscious of their thoughts and feelings and I like to help others to – this sound “odd” because what I have written above this but this is part of my personhood that was growing within me. I still have many of the developmental and processing issues stated management of both these aspects is key and of course very person-centred.

Negative Disordered Traits & Management of Them – Borderline Personality Disorder

In 2007 I had a nervous breakdown and BDP is the “extreme” and “disordered” variant of the mercurial personality

  • frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment

How I manage this 

Conceptualization of the subject – what is fact and what is assumption? What is real and what isn’t? What is my “gut” telling me? Being comfortable in your own skin is worthy and functional goal to achieve.

  • a pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation

How I manage this

Everybody is a human being and things happen in their lives as well as yours and over intensity (which in my case I wasn’t conscious of doing this) will not be liked, feel “too much” or “overwhelming for the other person”. No person is “black” or “white” in perception it is far more diverse for that.

  • identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self;

How I manage this

The journey of what is is self? How this describes me? Understanding that I am a person has always helped me with this aspect (even if I struggle with a senses of self knowing I am a human being is a good start)

  • impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating)

How I manage this

Why am I spending and over-eating? What is the core of the problem? Has something happened in my life? Is it a reaction to something in the past? Or does it have no root cause?

  • recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior

How I manage this

What has causes me to feel this way? What situation? (and/or situations?)

  • affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days)

How I manage this

Going with the flow this will end and dissolve, finding productive things to do with my time and don’t get “stuck” in this loop of anxiety

  • chronic feelings of emptiness

How I manage this

The feeling of lonesomeness is perceptual and could be to do with a lack of connectivity, lack of doing and being and also a need to be getting on with things in your life

  • inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights)

How I manage this

Don’t hold on to negative feeling like hate, anger, sadness they are a normal part of human life and one can move on from them with the right balance

How I manage this

Dissociation is on a spectrum, why has this happened? what are the root causes? How can you move on and manage this in the context of “now” and for the “future”?

Now In The Context Of My Autism (Processing Information)

Alexithymia

Emotions can be over-whelming and and “under” processing of emotions in time can cause a “plug” or “blockage” meaning a situation can happen for me which may require (in-real time) a emotional response but doesn’t happen because I am not “there yet”. It has taken me days, months or years to process an singular or multiple event this emotional wave of raw emotions felt like an attack which lead to self harm (hitting my legs, arms and head) what has helped me is understanding that when this wave hits I can cope be staying calm. 

Visual Agnosias (Visual Perceptual Disorders)

Not “seeing” with meaning meant there was no context to what was going on it was blobs, fragments, bits and pieces self and other where “alien” because there was “real” basis for it happening because I couldn’t home in what was what – what helped was my parents allowing me to explore my sensory world in way that gave it some sort of reality. Tinted lenses have greatly helped me in accessing visual information.

Meaning Deafness (Aphasia)

Strands of information that are too fast, long go into nothing-ness – I have no visual memory and cannot internalise words with a “visual picture” so elevated tone and gestures  to create a context that my mind is able to process with a high sense of clarity and meaning. Movement is very important to me.

Body Disconnection (Visual-Spatial Dysgnosia) 

My body is a “thing” that is around me it feels disjointed, awkward and clumsy so I have worked out ways of making it feel more real – I have pressure points so band and bracelets around my wrists, a tight jacket around the trunk of my body, a tie around my neck, and tight shoes for my fee. This gives me at least 4 points/areas of awareness and there can be more with my tinted glasses, headphones and tying my hair back.

Context From two angles – Personality & The “Pieces” of My Autism 

Healthy management of my personality to keep the volume “normal” and accessing the pieces of my autism that need addressing has helped with being a more happy and content person.

Friendships & Boundaries 

For many years this lack of management, processing confusion, context blindness and personality issues have created issues but recently through being introduced to more positive, productive friendships which are balanced, ordered and healthy this has given me a fresh new perspective of what “other” is.

  • Boundaries That Are Healthy – considering and empathising is a two way process 
  • When Problems Happen – take a step back, being there comes in many different forms
  • Sensing “Good” Vibes – your gut is important and is telling you a lot without any words at times

Self and Other – Pattern, Theme & Feel (D.Williams)

I live in world were logical and cognitive reasoning is not king (I have an autie way of processing not an aspie) it is through sensory based reasoning, feeling, experiencing through touch, movement, sound etc. This is the world I still live in and by relying on my system of sensing it has helped me understand things before I could/can verbalise them. I will hopefully create little bridges of connectivity for the future. 🙂

Paul Isaacs Adult With Autism 2014


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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 pin-pointing different aspects of it hopefully helping anybody who connects with it. I world before meaning lets start with that.

Sensory ExplorerWhat 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 2Such 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 Adult with Autism 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

BrocasAreaSmallAphasia

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.

Visual Agnosias

I struggle to gain visual context, things are see are fragmented, distorted, tursh and flat with no depth no origins, foreign Street Scene Pixeledintriguing 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, though 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.

ARTICLE ON APHASIA AND GESTURE

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

Conclusion

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 Adult With Autism 2014


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Nobody Nowhere By Donna Williams – An Inspiring Read

Copyright Donna Williams

Copyright Donna Williams

OVERVIEW

Donna Williams’ first autobiography “Nobody Nowhere” is the first book that I could relate to from a profile perspective although Donna and I have different profiles in broader totality. I like that Donna has advocated for people who have complex autoimmune  issues which can be apart of peoples Autism “Fruit Salad”. 🙂

What could relate to Profile wise 

  • Prosopagnosia
  • Simultagnosia
  • Visual-Verbal Agnosia
  • Auditory Verbal Agnosia/Aphasia
  • Exposure Anxiety
  • Non-Visual Thinker
  • Learning Difficulties
  • Learning Disability

 

FINDING YOURSELF & PERSONHOOD

Donna is fighter and you can tell this by reading her book – her difficulties in her home life, childhood, teenager years and early adulthood and her wanting to be seen as a person not to be exploited or used. Her journey is nothing short of amazing and her humanness, empathy and passion shines through in this amazing book.

Amazing 🙂

NOBODY NOWHERE BOOK

DONNA’S WEBSITE

DONNA’S BLOG

Paul Isaacs Adult with Autism 2014


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Sydney Edmond – Speaker, Author, Poet & Advocate on The Autism Spectrum

Copyright Sydney Edmond's The Purple Tree

Copyright Sydney Edmond’s The Purple Tree

OVERVIEW

I had the honor of connecting with Sydney on Facebook recently, and I admire her for her positivity, keen learning and emotive and emotional writing through her poetry and wise words that all people should read/hear/experience. She has presented speeches, written a book of poetry entitled  “The Purple Tree –  And Other Poems”  with a Foreword By Donna Williams in 2010 and also a film “My Name is Sydney”.

She values her personhood she wants to recognised for being “Syndey” and all which that entails, she gives a reflective and empowering message that all forms of communication are valid and that everyone has the right to be listened too.

Thank for sharing your words with the world Sydney people are listening and people are empowering. 🙂

LINKS

THE PURPLE TREE – AMAZON.COM

SYDNEY EDMOND’S WEBSITE

SYDNEY EDMOND FILM

 

Paul Isaacs Adult with Autism 2014


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Life With Autism Videos Parts 1 and 2 – Autism From The Inside

OVERVIEW

Theses are two videos about life with Autism which cover developmental history, education and employment. 🙂

Enjoy. 🙂

Paul Isaacs Adult with Autism 2014