Paul Isaacs' Blog

Autism from the inside


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Book Review Autism Decoded: The Cracks in the Code: Volume 1 By Stella Waterhouse

 

This books is a must read for parents, professionals and people on the autism spectrum 

Stella Waterhouse has been a professional in the field of autism since the 1970’s with a whole wealth information that taps into the very soul with resonance and deep thought, she clear has a passion for getting the knowledge out there by presenting different aspects in chapters with detailed and accessible writing.

From detailed historical elements of autism, professionals and advocates on the autism spectrum  written with eager candor, emotion and objectivity to the multi-faceted nature of autism broken  down into accessible  pieces.

  • Sensory Perceptual Disorders
  • Sensory Processing
  • Theory of Mind
  • Context Blindness
  • Language Processing
  • Exposure Anxiety 
  • Alexithymia
  • Personality Types
  • OCD, ADHD and other co-conditions
  • Short/Long Term Memory
  • System of “Sensing”
  • Facilitated Communication 
  • Left-Right Brain Functions & Brain Development 
  • Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome 
  • Savantism

The running theme in book contextual to the information based on the specific chapter is to give a human element that touches the reader, makes them think, reflect, perspective take, feel emotion and more.(with first person account and historical accounts).Woven with relative and  factual elements (such as the brain and nervous system) that broaden the palette and overall sphere of information giving rounded, objective and fluidity the runs from page to page.

This is a refreshing book that achieves the very title it was given looking beyond the stale and liner 2D nature of autism and opening up a broadening 3D perspective that will no doubt help generations to come. Highly recommended.

Paul Isaacs 2017

 

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Supermarkets – Autism, Sensory Perception, Impulse Control & Alexithymia

Note this is going to be from a personal perspective of how this affects me.

For me supermarkets are very much I love/hate relationship they are full of things to do primarily shopping for goods that you need for your home or otherwise however the way in which my autism profile works there are issues related to sensory integration, sensory perception, impulse control and emotional recognition.

Sensory Perceptional Issues

In previous posts I have documented how my fragmented vision affects the way in which I “see” and “process” the world around me this includes of course environments in which I am being bombarded by stimuli but one of the things I have to put one hold is the want to touch and experience everything I can within the store – this is not relate to the literal aspect of the what the object is but how it may sound, smell, feel etc, plus getting visual information for me alone is redundant so the irony here is that touch gives me far more “meaning.” than just looking.

Impulse Control Disorder (related to sensory perception)

This impulsivity can include getting “chemical highs” from objects, shimmers, shines, textures, noises, sounds and smells these in some contexts can be very distressing for me but in other contexts they can be alluring and very much a “want” of course a “need” is very different from a “want”.

Alexithymia – Could that be another factor?

Processing incoming emotions (and naming them) for me takes about 24 hours in general and longer depending on the situation. I wonder because I am getting a “bodily high” that is enough for me to get a “feeling” that comes from the outside in spurring on the impulsive want that then relates to impulse control?

Getting grounded

What I have done over the years has been able to self-regulate on a level where even though those a initial bursts may happen I am able to keep on task and do what I have to do.
My tinted lenses help not only with piecing the world together but filtering the lights and giving me clarity.

Headphones and music also help me as this keeps me on topic.
By sorting out what the relevant factors are (and just as importantly what aren’t) it gives and foundation not only of empowerment and ownership for th person but a confidence can challenge themselves in otherwise difficult situations.

Paul Isaacs 2015


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Supermarkets – Autism, Sensory Perceptual Disorders & Sensory Issues

Street Scene PixeledOVERVIEW

Note – This is a personal perspective of how I experiences Supermarkets 

There are many ways in and strategies which I have used to navigate a supermarket over the years when I was a child I never knew what this “big colourful space” was that my parents used to take me to, I had no concept or connection with what it was as it was a bunch of fragmented images (that I would like or hate or get sensory “highs” from) noises that I couldn’t decipher and would like or dislike, kinesthetic sensory experiences were a way of connecting with the environment and experiencing the products in this fashion was very useful for me as it was building a bridge of connectivity.

So here is what helps me –

HEADPHONES

This helps reduce noise input not only do I have Verbal Auditory Agnosia/Aphasia (meaning deafness) I also have an Auditory Hypersensitivity which is greatly helped due to headphones – (imagine hearing every single sound all at once at equal volume) it helps me connect better with my surroundings and focus on the tasks of buying the products I can also get stuck on “words” and “sounds” that I hear which is also helped by the headphones.

TINTED LENSES

These help and continue to help with processing visuals in light as I have Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome/Light Sensitivity they help with reducing light “over” visual information, I also have Visual AgnosiasProsopagnosia, Simultagnosia, Semantic Agnosia (seeing things in bits, without “meaning”  with a lack of depth 2D) this can cause problem with navigating surroundings. Although I still have  these agnosias and don not have a “visual memory” it helps me navigate surroundings much better, with reduced light input, less fragmentation and more visual depth and “real time”.

CLOTHING

I wear clothing with “pressure points” I have Visuospatial Dysgnosia (body disconnection) so I have tight bracelets round my wrists, my hair is in a tight bun/ponytail, tight fitted shoes – This gives me “anchor points” for my body to navigate around the “space” around me.

CONCLUSION

I still “see” and “hear” without “meaning” and in the supermarket I still like to touch to perceive and map my surroundings by remembering my patterns of movement around the store, however I believe in positivity and healthy challenges for myself and this is one of them. I hope this helps. 🙂

Paul Isaacs 2014


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Intensive Interaction – Phoebe Caldwell – Empowering Communication, Sensory Profiles & Diversity On The Autism Spectrum

Phoebe Caldwell Copyright P.Caldwell

Phoebe Caldwell Copyright P.Caldwell

OVERVIEW

I had the honor of seeing Phoebe Caldwell at two Autism Events and I was truly inspired and empowered by both of her speeches and the many years of wisdom and experience (over 35 years) with people on the Autism spectrum and people on the spectrum with Learning Disabilities.

DIVERSITY OF SENSORY &  COMMUNICATION PROFILES

She offers an holistic lateral way of approaching people on the autism spectrum by looking at their –

It is a really positive way of engaging and interaction on  a person-centred level.

THE IMPORTANCE OF HAPPINESS

By tapping into the way in which the person on the spectrum communicates, interacts and how they perceive sensory information  – then  their personhood will begin to blossom and show, their happiness will begin to shine something which is so important and meaningful to every person.

I feel that looking at the spectrum as a diverse mixture of different profiles is really positive and the importance of happiness is equally important also.

Thank You Phoebe for Empowering so many people on the spectrum. 🙂

OLLY & PHOEBE COMMUNICATING

PHOEBE CALDWELL WEBSITE

INTENSIVE INTERACTION

PHOEBE’S BOOKS

Paul Isaacs 2014


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Autism & Accessibility For All – Ann Memmott – Speaker, Trainer & Consultant

Ann Memmott ImageOVERVIEW

So now for Positive Interventions Ann Memmott is on the Autism Spectrum and is Autism Accessibility Consultant in the UK, I’m proud to know her a be her friend – I have learnt a lot from Ann in terms of buildings can affect a person on the spectrum on a sensory, cognitive and emotional level. She believes in accessibility for all. And she works on a person centred level. Thanks Ann for all that you do. 🙂

ANN’S WEBSITE


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Dr Fred Covington OTD – IOTScreener Software For Children with Autism

Dr Frederick B. Covington OTD

Dr Frederick B. Covington OTD

OVERVIEW

I had the pleasure of conversing with Dr Fred Covington and looking at his iotscreener which is an interactive person – centred way of looking at a person’s sensory and developmental needs and how they’re developing I think this is any amazing piece of software which can be put on your Ipad/Iphone etc. 

Keep up the amazing work Dr Covington! 🙂

DR FRED COVINGTON WEBSITE

IOTSCREENER WEBSITE

Paul Isaacs 2014

 


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Classic Autism, Visual/Auditory Agnosias, and Living in a Sensory Based World

Left Hemisphere Neglect – Right Brain Processing 

Thanks to Donna Williams Fruit Salad Analogy (1995/2005)

Note – This is personal experience

I tested myself today I used the left side of my body to do a task and my right it felt easy doing it with my left side I have Visual agnosias, Semantic Agnosia (meaning blindness), Simultanagnosia (object blindness) and Prosopagnosia (face blindness as well asAuditory agnosias these are blindnesses in the LEFT side of the brain, I’m left handed an that hand is used as an information seeker – feeling textures, patterns, smoothness, roughness – I externalise my thinking even as speech delayed and language delayed child I done this.

I live in a world BEFORE visual and auditory semantics kicked in. I builded 3D models out side (externalise) of myself to gain meaning through touch, smell, texture, taste and depth I have no pictures in my head for words, faces, objects, people – I need to FEEL to perceive, HEAR to perceive. I have NO visual memory.

My language processing is less to do with being literal and more to do with Auditory verbal agnosia meaning deaf to words not processing words with meaning just “hearing sounds”, I’m less logical and more patterned as TOO much language/detail means I lose meaning. I externalise with touch to understand the world and myself, I never internalise I have no pictures or words with meaning to do so.

My Parents knew that I needed to touch, knew that clipped sentences worked, knew I needed to sensory explore I grateful that they let me understand the world through the lenses of the system I had and continue to have.

 

Paul Isaacs 2014SAM_0594