Paul Isaacs' Blog

Autism from the inside

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Autism, Faceblindness & Social Media



Note this is from a personal perspective

I got a good question from a Dean Beadle a international speaker on the autism spectrum with regards to faceblindness and the use of social media.


The way in which I recognise people I have documented in various other blogs with regards to “seeing” faces or rather not and that is through patterns of movement (the way in which the person moves their body around the enviroment) and the person’s voices. Context helps through understanding (their full full name, significance of were I know them from).#



When it comes to social media it is best for people to message to help me remember where they came from. I do look for full names (that is a good start) and other contextual and associative information, although at times I have gotten it wrong in terms of sending the friend request to the wrong person it is a matter of trial and error for me. 🙂

Paul Isaacs 2016


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Negative and Positive Self-Perception – It is More Than Just Placement?

I will set the scene

IMAG0276Imaging going into the a room what do you take into that room? Your body? Your soul? Your mind? In many ways you take everything in to that space not the other way round (although at times it feels like it).

The room itself is a “thing” with “things” it no people just you.

One day you go into the room and you feel low, depressed and unsure of yourself the ground and foundations are shaky and/or non-existent the room perpetually “feels” different.

The next day you are feeling happy, with high spirits, feeling good and positive your mind is clear and you foundations are firm within your mind the room again “feels” different.

In reality the room never changed nor the things in it but you did – the power of the mind is so powerful it can effect the inner perceptions the surrounding you are in I find that to be both amazing potentially terrifying at the same time.

One thing is for you sure when in doubt how ever hard it is to reach, however long it takes remember you are in control.

Paul Isaacs 2015

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My Primary Language & Finding Balance With The Help Of My Parents

Wedding Photos 1986.jpg


I’m thankful and grateful that my parents helped a guided me to be as functional as possible, not disabling further with martyrdom and co-dependency, teaching me right from wrong, understanding failure is normal, letting me experience the world and make progress and mistakes, encouraging happiness and balance and not seeing my a Autism as the sum total of my being.

I’m a person, artist, poet and author but like my parents also taught I am no better than anyone else.

My “Language” & Perceptual “World” & Gaining Functional Language

Considering my primary speech/language was movements, sounds and echolalia and my internal language a jumble of noise and sounds (but words were trapped inside which I wanted to alternately share and keep hidden), with no pictures and other people were fragmented blobs that made soundscapes to one another.

I was functionally non -verbal for 5 years and when I gained functional speech at 7/8 years old the words inside came out scattered and wanted to go back due to (exposure anxiety and selective mutism) but I kept moving forward.

My primary language is in the past tense and at home I at times residually revert back to that language that I hold so dear and you may not get much interpretive language out of me.

I wish no pity of sorrow this is my own journey.

Interpretive & Language & Pattern, Theme & Feel Language (D.Williams)

Interpretive language is a second language to me which is English my primary language is movements, sounds, echolalia, licking, sniffing and tapping my surroundings, sounds and movements conveyed emotions, feelings and direction, sculpting faces, sniffing hair, flashing lights, things that spin, pretty textures, glowy things, sparkle, shine etc.

At home my language would be hard for others to fathom.


I’m thankful that my parents have helped me in this way it is good to have and find balance in your life for a whole host of reasons such as empowerment is one of key things that has helped me by not going down the road of victimhood and also having a healthy acknowledgment of your actions on others.

Paul Isaacs 2014

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Having Classic Autism, Speech, Language & Moving My Arms Like Donna Williams

Paul Baby Picture 1988

Tony Attwood and Michelle Garnett were presenting at an Autism Oxford Event (a 2 day conference) – My Presentation was My Journey to an Autism Diagnosis.
This my personal perspective of Autism and how it affects me.

“Classic ” Autism , Visual , Auditory Perceptual Disorders And Language

I have Classic autism (as opposed to AS) – I look at people from with AS afar in admiration for the qualities they bring to the world – Like Donna Williams.

I live in a world where Visual agnosias & Auditory agnosias make sounds fun, scary and images fragmented and artistic but at times confusing living in a world BEFORE interpretive meaning albiet residual.

I treat my current expressive language I use now as my foreign/2nd language which I have learnt to use due to various blockages. (because Apraxia of speech, Speech delay,Language delay, Visual Perceptual Disorders & Aphasia).

Connecting With The World
Hands are my tools for “seeing”, licking, sniffing, tapping, rubbing – I asked the audience to think internally and visualise a table I can’t because of semantic agnosia I must “feel” and “experience” a table to externally mentalise and give it purpose, meaning and context.
Gestural Language And No Visual Memory

Communicating and connecting before expressive functional speech was sounds, clicks, movements to convey communication (later echolalia) to the outer world. Tony commented on how I move my arms like Donna’s that is because like her I paint a picture/movie/communication through my arms and hands moulding as I talk images in real time which helps me get my words out to externally express what is trying to come out internally

Tony commented on how I move my arms like Donna’s that is because like her I paint a picture/movie/communication through my arms and hands moulding as I talk images in real time which helps me get my words out to externally express what is trying to come out internally.

Paul Isaacs 2014

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Speech/Language Delay, Visual/Auditory Processing & Body Disconnection in Autism

Paul Year 1

Note this is my own personal experiences of Autism


I was non-verbal for 5 years or more (I had a lot of words in my head) I had speech and language delay Aphasia,Apraxia of speechAuditory verbal agnosia) – (expressive and receptive) my Mum thought I was deaf and blind (this was due to Visual agnosias and Auditory agnosias), I used movements, clicks, sounds to convey information to others (I still use this when happy, excited and/or distressed) I consider this my “primary language” and interpretive language a second language I learned), pre-verbal than functional expressive speech at around 7/8 years old (1993/1994) that was of a 3 year old expressively. 


I didn’t understand that conversations were between two people for a very long time used to look at two fragmented blobs making sounds at each other at pre-school and found it rather amusing but didn’t connect that it was an interaction.  I used to make noises/whispers at other children I sat next to in the playground with (that was my form of a conversation) some time also.


I was already putting my arm behind my back that was to do with trying to connect my body with myself (body disconnection), probably liking the feeling of the fur and not quite understanding contextually where I was.

Paul Isaacs 2014

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All Communication Is Valid – None Are Inferior


All people on the spectrum have a valid and functional ways of communicating and that is equally diverse in both receptive and expressive language – I find that I write more emotively than I verbally express and when I was a child who didn’t speak with my mouth for  5 years I HAD many words within me. 🙂



  1. Aphasia
  2. Verbal Auditory Agnosia
  3. Oral Apraxia 
  4. Mutism (once functional speech was gained)


The way in which I connected with people was through “sounds”, “movements” and “noises” which were functionally right for me it was my own language before interpretive language, I STILL live in this world and treat interpretive language as acquired but not my “native” language.


There are  amazing folks on the spectrum such as Carly Fleischmann, Sydney Edmond, Peyton Goddard who are showing their inner voices in beautiful and emotive ways that help us understand the different lives of people on the spectrum and also the shared personhood which they all have. 🙂

Remember all forms of communication are valid. 🙂

Paul Isaacs 2014