Paul Isaacs' Blog

Autism from the inside

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Autism, Visual Perception & Body Disconnection

20160829_172026.jpgNote this is from a personal perspective


For people with at times complex visual perceptual disorders within their autism profile the “visual” enviroment may well be foreboding, scary, intriguing or fantastic. The waxing and waning may come from other factors such as mental health conditions such as undiagnosed mood, compulsive or anxiety disorders within the mix which can heighten and project the issues for the person in question.


As a child I found misdirection confusing and alluring at the sametime being able to “sense” through my fingers, toes and body rather than “seeing” with my eyes was a comfort it was tangible and “real” for more real in reflection that what my “eyes” were showing me.

The complex nature of my visual perceptual disorders have been documented in other blog posts and my second book  with James Billett in which the world was faceless, fragmented and distorted clarity was found in the moments of touch (to gain meaning, context and placement). 


The level of body disconnection as the years go back was higher I had no idea of the “vessel” I was “living in” and that that meant I often wonder with that lack of groundedness made my an emotionally anxious child (amongst other environmental and  social factors). Legs, hands, fingers, toes, my trunk etc seemed to be in a world of their own with the realisation of their existence being triggered by an awareness of their movements and what that meant for me (rather than what other saw or reacted to how it looked).


I have mentioned about a lack awareness of trauma this included knocking a tooth, scraping my legs on barbed wire with next to now reaction to the the level of trauma itself and that a level of pain agnosia must have been present and still is to a certain degree.


I wonder if people in both educational, home and residential environments who have complex visual perceptual disorders (a level of face, object and meaning blindness), pain agnosia and body disconnectivity who self-harm because they do not have the internal “stopping point” thus causing secondary conditions that which is related to mental health which heightenings the presentation it is worth thinking about?

Paul Isaacs 2016

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Autism – Bruxism, Pain Agnosia & Brushing Teeth

Note – This is from personal experience of bruxism 


Bruxism is the habit of clenching and grinding the teeth. It most often occurs at night during sleep, but it may also occur during the day. It is an unconscious behavior, perhaps performed to release anxiety, aggression, or anger.


Bruxism is one of the oldest disorders known, and approximately one in four adults experiences it. Most people are not aware of it before their teeth have been damaged.


While bruxism is typically associated with stress, it may also be triggered by abnormal occlusion (the way the upper and lower teeth fit together), or crooked or missing teeth.

Symptoms of bruxism include: dull headaches; sore and tired facial muscles; earaches; sensitive teeth; and locking, popping, and clicking of the jaw.

During a dental examination , a dentist may recognize damage resulting from bruxism, including: enamel loss from the chewing surfaces of teeth; flattened tooth surfaces; loosened teeth; and fractured teeth and fillings. Left untreated, bruxism may lead to tooth loss and jaw dysfunction.


Medical and dental histories and examinations are necessary to differentiate bruxism from other conditions that may cause similar pain, such as ear infections, dental infections, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction. However, uncommonly worn-down teeth strongly suggest a diagnosis of bruxism.


To prevent further damage to the teeth, bruxism is treated by placing a removable, custom-fitted plastic appliance called a night guard between the upper and lower teeth. Although the clenching and grinding behavior may continue, the teeth wear away the plastic instead of each other.

In some cases, abnormal occlusion may be adjusted and high spots removed so that the teeth fit together in a more comfortable position .Missing teeth may be replaced and crooked teeth may be straightened with orthodontic treatment to eliminate possible underlying causes of bruxism. In cases where jaw muscles are very tight, a dentist may prescribe muscle relaxants.


Yes this is true for all my teeth are worn and 5 are noticeably worn down specifically by grinding or gnashing which commonly occurs during night time – Teeth have “points” and can be “sharp” (this is due to them pushing up through the gums) many of my teeth have lost those “points” due to bruxism they feel rough and “jagged” where the enamel (which covers the tooth and the soft dentin) has grinded and worn down, this makes their appearance slight irregular to my other teeth as as they look slightly stumped as a result, anxiety I have no doubt is the the underlying cause for this as I also get “jaw-popping” to and tension.

Thankfully only 5 of my top back teeth are worn and 2 of my lower back teeth are worn (I have 4 wisdom teeth and had three extractions due to overcrowding and needing a fixed brace)


Yes there are more reasons for this as apart of my Autism “Fruit Salad” I have Pain Agnosia an under processing/perception of pain this meant that on night I decided to “clean” my teeth with a hard/jagged surface appliance (this was to scale off tea stains) I “went to town” on these teeth not knowing or “connecting” that I was shredding away my enamel with every movement (I have problems with pressure too) it was many years later that my new dentist pointed out this enamel wear.
My bottom two teeth are slightly chipped due to damage with grinding luckily I didn’t decide to clean them in the same fashion as the 5 teeth above.  😉 Also these a very minor chips which would need to be checked but not capped/filled.

I still have any issue with over brushing due to pressure, knowing when to stop, “forgetting” the pattern, once the pattern is remembered repeating the cycle this has lead about 6 of my teeth having their gum lines receded (exposing the dentin) this means I have very sensitive teeth due to this, bruxism and enamel wear.


Yes I do believe it or not! I like the dentist in many ways the positive to being under sensitive/under processed to pain means I like having my teeth checked, scrapped, picked, cleaned polished etc. I have a friendly dentist and tooth hygienist.


  • Pro-Enamel Sensitive Toothpaste (builds up strengthens enamel)
  • Pro-Enamel Mouthwash (non-alcoholic)
  • Electric Toothbrush (modify brush settings)
  • Mouth Guard (to be used at night time it is made out of a soft plastic so teeth aren’t worn)
  • Regular check-ups with a dentist who has experience of bruxism

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Autism & A Difficult Birth – Cerebral Hypoxia, Silent Stroke, Middle & Posterior Arteries, Agnosias & Apraxias

Baby 1987 2



Note – This is a personal experiences of the trajectory of my Autism

I certainly had  Cerebral Hypoxia as apart of a difficult birth I was born a month premature and through Caesarian Section . The Cerebral Arteries also had a part to play in this also.

Middle Cerebral Artery

Middle Cerebral Artery Syndrome 

Which resulted in the following –

Posterior Cerebral Artery

Stroke Not not all these symptoms apply to me

Peripheral territory (Cortical branches) – Not not all these symptoms apply to me

  • Homonymous hemianopia (often upper quadrantic): Calcarine cortex or optic radiation nearby.
  • Bilateral homonymous hemianopia, cortical blindness, awareness or denial of blindness; tactile naming, achromatopia (color blindness), failure to see to-and-fro movements, inability to perceive objects not centrally located, apraxia of ocular movements, inability to count or enumerate objects, tendency to run into things that the patient sees and tries to avoid: Bilateral occipital lobe with possibly the parietal lobe involved.
  • Verbal dyslexia without agraphia, color anomia: Dominant calcarine lesion and posterior part of corpus callosum.
  • Memory defect: Hippocampal lesion bilaterally or on the dominant side only.
  • Topographic disorientation and prosopagnosia: Usually with lesions of nondominant, calcarine, and lingual gyrus.
  • Simultanagnosia, hemivisual neglect: Dominant visual cortex, contralateral hemisphere.
  • Unformed visual hallucinations, peduncular hallucinosis, metamorphopsia, teleopsia, illusory visual spread, palinopsia, distortion of outlines, central photophobia: Calcarine cortex.
  • Complex hallucinations: Usually nondominant hemisphere.


Due to a silent stroke within the womb which is to do with

Additional injury to the left hemisphere to the such as

and the rest such as Social Social-Emotional AgnosiaAlexithymia for example where genetics.


It is important to know the trajectory and the why’s and the hows? of how someone has Autism, all this being said I will not let this DEFINE my PERSONHOOD but it does continue to explain why a process and communicate in a particular way. 🙂

Paul Isaacs 2014