I have never really written about what my job entails – its ethos, perspective and outlook on my page so I think its important to do so. I got a lot of my perspective from being diagnosed in 2010 with autism at the age of 24. I didn’t know what autism was let alone what it meant for me. When I came out of the practitioners room, went down the hallway and outside into the fresh afternoon air, my parents were both present and my Mum said you are still “Paul” . This would be one on of many linchpins that built up my perspective.
A year previously I went to see the late Donna Williams at a venue in Oxfordshire and she gave a dynamic speech on autism containing information which up to that point I had never heard of and a year later we connected on Facebook. It started off from there asking questions about differing elements, pieces and sage advice mixed with wit, humour and her drive to always see people regardless of what label is put upon them as people. I want to share her knowledge, wisdom and perspective of autism to larger audiences – not only to get to the know the person behind the creation of the autism “fruit salad” but to carry on her work to EMPOWER people.
My ethos is looking at autism as autisms as an adjective, an experience, a describer not a definer, I look at autisms as a clustering of differing conditions and syndromes based in neurology and biology, I look at mental health issues such as mood, anxiety and compulsive disorders, I look at personality types and their disordered extremes, I look at identity in gender and sexuality, I look at the psycho-social environment and their impact rightly or wrongly, I look at learning styles. In other words the ethos is based in looking at the “word autism” and taking a three dimensional approach rather than stereotypes, understanding the “labels” and not defining the person by them. We are in the end all born people.
Without Donna’s help I would not be here doing this so my eternal thank you will be to carry on her work and have a broader more collective view of what the word “autism” is.
Paul Isaacs 2018