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Autism from the inside


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Autism, Language Processing, Understanding, Expression, Retrieval & Echolalia

Bubbles

Finding words can be difficult in my younger years I had trouble with many aspects of language and what is was meant for – this can be seen in my early developmental history which shows that I had problems with both language processing, use of and retrieval.

Body and Brain

The body and brain are connected so if the “words” I found where gone this could well be to do with the brain and the body not “connecting” at the right time of expression this meant that either I would not speak at all (because of the movement of my tongue, jaw and mouth) or the words “disappeared” rendering me to say “rubbish” in the place of something which was meaningful to the person and/or peoples in questions.

The “Language Bottleneck”

As I got older developmentally there were still delays in speech input and output this meant that by the time I was 7/8 years old language output was that of a 3 three old both in content, trajectory and conversation there would also be times of stiltedness and apparent awkwardness in expression and of course frustration that the “blah” was not making sense and that sometimes my “blah” that came out it was like two ships in the night looking for each other but completely missing each other in terms of understanding, this was not either parties fault but the nature of the “language bottleneck” which meant I had many words “stored” and ready to say but when it come to expression could not get them out in their enteritis  the bottle neck could also be put into reverse when people “spoke” to me it was only a small bandwidth in which I could retrieve meaning and when I did that meant the process of expression had to start all over again.

Pronouns “Us”, “We”, “You”, “Me”

Even at nearly thirty I can get stuck on what these mean in time and context which they are meant I have problems with even the most basic an obvious tasks such as “can you put the oven on” this is being directed at me but I not processing the significance of what that means to me for a few seconds my Mum got my attention by saying “Paul can you put the oven on” this had a level of significance, yesterday evening I was watching a film my Mum said “I think she was dreaming” – I turned to Mum and said “who and what” (confusing the matters farther) she then directed me to the film I was watching the character in question.

Meaning Deafness

When my language systems “shutdown” I words begin to drop so a sentence could look like this “…….could………outside…………sho………an……….pi……..eys………….plea……….” this could go into sounds that means the words have reverted back developmentally to their place of origin before “meaning and contextual language was given” – when this happens I can echo surface information back at the person so that gives the illusion of “self” and “other” processing if you where to fine tune your observations you would realise at this point that is not happening and it reverts back to the “bottleneck”scenerio above.

Contextualisation

Helping me contextualise comes in

  1. Getting my attention (you are speaking to ME)
  2. Structure, content, context
  3. Gesture, tone (painting a picture)
  4. Objects of reference (mentalising)

 

Paul Isaacs 2016

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Autism – Auditory Agnosias/Aphasias & Oral Apraxia – Not “Processing” Environmental Sounds & Words With “Meaning”

Dad and I Butlins 1991OVERVIEW

Note – This is from a personal perspective

As apart of my Autism Fruit Salad (Donna Williams 1995/2005) I have auditory agnosia, this means I cannot process “environmental sounds” with meaning, comprehension and not retaining the “sound” in context (so for example “hearing/processing” and ambulance and retaining it it). This is one of the reasons why my parents thought I was deaf, I was/am neurologically deaf but their is no specific impairment to my ears.

AUDITORY AGNOSIA

Discriminative

This type of auditory agnosia is caused by lesions to the right hemisphere of the brain.

Classical (or pure) auditory agnosia is an inability to process environmental sounds, such as animal noises, industrial noises, or the like. An airplane roaring overhead would not be understood to be related to the idea of “airplane”—indeed, the person would not even think to look up.

So How Does This Work

  • I can “hear” the sound lose it’s “meaning” and not “hear/comprehend” in association to where it’s coming from
  • I can have a sound in my head but not “know” it’s origin – this would lead me to repeat the sound in an echolalic fashion
  • I can have sound in my head and flip flop between comprehending and losing comprehension
  • I ultimately lose meaning/comprehension of sounds on daily basis and have to be verbally reminded of basic sounds such as mobiles phones, trains, cars, lorries etc.

BrocasAreaSmallVERBAL  AUDITORY AGNOSIA/APHASIA

Semantic-associative

This type of auditory agnosia is caused by lesions to the left hemisphere of the brain, specifically the temporal lobes and Wernicke’s area.

Linguistic (or verbal information or Wernicke’s) agnosia indicates that the subject can’t comprehend words, although they can understand words using sign language and words from reading books, and are themselves capable of speech (and even of deriving meaning from non-linguistic communication e.g. body language) the particular sounds associated to each word are meaningless.

So How Does This Work

  • I hear words but cannot process meaning/context this means that clipped language is better for processing and meaning
  • Like Donna Williams I like people to use gesture (like mime) to tell the story and use movements that match the words
  • If over processed I will gain no auditory meaning from the words being said
  • I like to touch to perceive (visual agnosias) which helps with language

EXPRESSIVE APHASIA & ORAL APRAXIA

So How Does This Work

  • As a child I had thoughts in my head but had problems using my mouth, tongue, muscles and jaw to convey “words”
  • My mouth felt disconnected from “me” and my “words”
  • I lost words within my “head” (expressive aphasia) so “created” I words/sounds for feelings and communication
  • I speak but I have a lot of bass to my voice, tone is unusual, pitch and rhythm  also (oral apraxia)
  • I use “stock expressive language” to aid with expressive language

CONCLUSION

I believe that this is one of the reasons I still live in a Pattern, Theme & Feel world, I created my own language through the auditory and visual cluttering that I had (and still do) and I still find typical interpretative language difficult (I treat it as a second language) but I try and use it to the best of my abilities. 🙂

 

Paul Isaacs 2014