Paul Isaacs' Blog

Autism from the inside


4 Comments

Autism, Visual Perceptual Disorders & Tinted Lenses Videos

Note: This is from a personal perspecitve and doesn’t represent all people on the autism spectrum with or without the co-conditions mentioned

These interviews were conducted at the NAS Conference in Telford – In these interviews I talk about visual perceptual disorders, agnosias and tinted lenses in the context of autism. I would also like to stress that everyone’s autism.

 

 

Paul Isaacs 2016

 

Advertisements


Leave a comment

“Autism” what does it mean?

Note this is froDad and I Dancingm a personal perspective

When I was diagnosed with autism in 2010 one of the first things that I was told is that was still a “person” even if I didn’t the mechanics and/or “pieces” of my autism that nevertheless was a sage piece of advice that has stayed with me on a personal and professional level.

“Autism” is different for each person so here is a breakdown of the “mechanics”

  • Emotional perception (alexithymia) problems with recognising and verbalising emotional states.
  • Visual perception (visual agnosias) problems with perceiving faces, objects, reading words, colour and “sorting out my visual field into a “whole”.
  • Language processing (receptive aphasia) problems with processing and interpreting “meaning” and “significance” from language.
  • Auditory processing (auditory agnosias) problems with organising the origins of sounds.
  • Body perception (body agnosias and hemiplegia) problems with processing and perception on the right side of my body which affects coordination, problems with recognising pain, hunger and thirst.
  • Body and Movement (visuospatial dysgnosia) left-right disorientation.
  • Light Sensitivity (sensory integration disorder and related learning difficulties) problems with light creating distortions as well as dyslexia and dyscalculia.
  • “self” and “other” processing simultaneous information which requires this can be difficult.
  • Mental health and personality disorders.

 

PERSONALITY TYPES

I have four main personality types which intermingle with each these are human in terms of presentation but will differ form person to person – human beings under stress may develop “disordered” versions of these types affecting social and personal perception, mood management and interpersonal relationships and friendships.

  1. Idiosyncratic
  2. Mercurial
  3. Self-Sacrificing
  4. Serious  

 

NOT RELATING TO “AUTISTIC IDENTITY/IDENTITY-FIRST LANGUAGE 

I do not see my whole being as “autism” nor define myself by it. I see it apart of me, in my case the pieces are emotional perception, visual perception, language perception, auditory perception,
body perception, light sensitivity, information processing and learning difficulties
 with associated mood disorders, exposure anxiety, somatisation disorder, dissociation and personality disorders but they are not a total nor finite definition of my being. I can only speak from my perspective and that is all.

I am “Paul” first with the all the positives and negatives that come with it the likes, dislikes, regrets, dreams and the sense of just “being”. I shall never adhere to the “club” there is to much militancy, over-investing and politics. I see myself as apart of the human race – no more, no less, no more worthy, no less worthy just a person like one of the billions of people on the planet everyone has a story to tell don’t they.  😉

Paul Isaacs 2016


Leave a comment

An Accessible Look At My Autism Profile – Part 1

ReceptionThis is a laymen’s terms/accessible version of my autism profile – although I have written previous blogs with technical information about the “mechanics” of my autism here is an “easy read” version of my autism which is broken down into a heading and paragraphs and/or sentences with hyperlinks attached for further information. 

As always this is from a personal perspective.

Alexithymia (Emotional Processing)

Not understanding, processing or receiving my own emotions in “real time” this also affects how I understand bodily messages such as thirst and hunger – Poetry, painting , drawing and music help me process my emotions contextually.

Aphasia (Language Processing)

I have processing delay with language this means I struggle to find words, lose them, find them again and lose them again etc – I live before literal and struggle to find significance in language – however music, bests, rhythm and gesture help me access meaningful language.

Speech Delay (Developmental Milestone)

The developmental milestone of speech was delayed noticeably during my early years (please checkout other blogs for further information).

Language Delay (Developmental Milestone)

The developmental language milestone where delay even when speech was acquired.

Speech Apraxia (Verbal Dyspraxia) (Body Disconnection/Mouth)

I had a disconnect between my body and brain so my brain would have words but my body (mouth, jaws, tongue and lips) didn’t seem to want to “join up” this lead to feeling of heightened frustration to total indifference.

Selective Mutism – (once functional speech was acquired) (Co-Condition

In times of anxiety and/or dissociation I would choose to be mute

Tic Disorder & Globus Pharyngis (Co-condition/Mental Health) – 8 Years old – was called a “Nervous Throat”

This was due to a sensation of something being within my throat this would cause me to throat clear in an abrupt and idiosyncratic (odd) fashion.

Echophenomena (Developmental Milestones – Speech, Movement, Body Language)

  1. Echolalia – Echoing of words (delayed and instant)
  2. Echopraxia Echoing of movements (delayed)
  3. Echomimia Echoing of facial expressions (delayed)
  4. Palilalia Echoing of one’s own words (instant/delayed)

Visual Agnosias (Visual Perceptual Disorders/”Seeing” without meaning and/or “Seeing” but not piecing the “wholes” together)

Semantic Agnosia (Meaning Blindness)

Not retaining what is being seen so I would tap, sniff, lick, rub, mouth and tongue to gain a reality and an experience of my environment.

Simultagnosia (Object Blindness)

Not seeing in wholes – so seeing “fragments” and not seeing the “whole picture”

Prosopagnosia (Face Blindness)

Not processing faces and/or recognising  people by their faces.

Visual – Verbal Agnosia (Comprehension Blindness)

Reading without internalising/retaining meaning

Colour Agnosia

Seeing colours but not processing/understanding or recognising differentiation between them by name (in my case I recognise red but struggle to sometimes name of colours)

Mirror Agnosia (visual processing) 

Not understanding nor processing “other” or “self”  in mirrors for example I would and still get fooled by mirrors and when I was younger used to think that was behind me was in front of me.

Form Agnosia (Visual/Cognitive/Auditory & Contextual) 

Not configuring the “whole”

Pure Auditory Agnosia (Auditory Perception)

Not processing/understanding or the “origins” of sounds and associating them when I next “hear” them.

Language Auditory Agnosia (Meaning Deafness)

A type of aphasia (Language processing disorder).

Tonal Agnosia (Atonia) (Language Processing)

I “hear” tone but sometimes do not associate with meaning.

Pain Agnosia (Body Disconnection) 

I do not process pain at all or there is a significant delay in recognition.

Visualspatial Dysgnosia (Body Blindness)

I do not recognise my body in space so I wear tight clothes, bracelets, tight shoes to get a “reference” of my body.

Finger Agnosia (Digit Blindness)

As a child I had trouble reference that I had fingers and “where they were” this was due to body disconnection.

Paul Isaacs 2015


Leave a comment

Autism, Aphasia & Visual Agnosias – Telegraphic Language & Gestural Communication

Note – This is from a personal perspective of having Aphasia and Visual agnosias as apart of my Autism

BrocasAreaSmallAphasia

As a child I appeared “deaf” this was because of severe receptive and expressive language processing other words I have used in my blog are related – pure wordness, verbal auditory agnosia and meaning deafness. This is to do with the left hemisphere of the brain – even now words can tumble into “sounds” with no auditory or contextual origin I hear melody rise and fall but no meaning, nothing to grasp. The words are “dead” and not brought to life.

Visual Agnosias

I struggle to gain visual context, things are see are fragmented, distorted, tursh and flat with no depth no origins, foreign Street Scene Pixeledintriguing and amazing as well as bewildering and confusing. I don’t live in a world world with logical and literalism as a backup for my lack of visual understanding I must “feel” for  understanding and contextualisation.

Simultagnosia – Visual Fragmentation – Object Blindness

Inability to recognize multiple elements in a visual presentation, one object or some elements of a scene can be appreciated but not the display as a whole.

Semantic Agnosia – Meaning Blindness

An agnosia that is a loss of the ability to visually recognise an object while maintaining the use of non-visual sensory systems such as feeling, tapping, smelling, rocking or flicking the object to recognise the object.

Prosopagnosia – Faceblindness

inability to recognize the faces of other people or one’s own features in a mirror, due to damage to the underside of both occipital lobes.

Visual-Verbal Agnosia

visual-verbal agnosia (also referred to as pure word blindness or alexia without agraphia).Individuals with this disorder show a marked reduction in their ability to read the printed word, through their writing and other language modalities remain essentially intact.

Hemispatial Neglect 

Being “blind” to one side of my body and and visual field this includes motor coordination this also relates to visual spatial disorders and seeing things in 2D which can be related (at least in my case to visual object agnosia).

Homonymous hemianopsia 

Processing “half” my visual field.

Telegraphic Language 

This clipped form of language helps me if you want to get a point and also if you want to use emotive language etc.

Gestural Signing and Movements

In order to me to understand the words and where they are going (remember I am not literal and I am processing before typical interpretive language) externalise use your body, your hands and exaggerated gestures creating a play in front my eyes and also use melody in your voice (I am not tonal deaf either) to help my grasp the movements to give them meaning this also helps because I cannot internlise words because of the visual agnosias.

Kate Bush – Wuthering Heights 

Kate Bush – Bush Babooshka 

Think of how Kate tells the story in this video with melody and movement using her hands and body to tell the story.

ARTICLE ON APHASIA AND GESTURE

Differences in the communicative use of gesticulation and pantomime in a case of aphasia PDF (conclusion below)

Conclusion

This study has shown that both gesticulation and pantomime can be used communicatively in a person with aphasia.
Importantly however, this may differ per communicative setting. Furthermore, even though a gesture mode might be
impaired it can be useful still. In clinical practice each of these gesture modes should be assessed separately in
different types of communicative settings. In these assessments the emphasis should be on comprehensibility
rather than on the correct use of a representation technique

“Pseudo” Social Emotional Agnosia 

The reason why I miss tone (melody), sarcasm, idioms in language isn’t because I am literal and have a semantic pragmatic issue with language it is because words (all of them in some case)  tumble into sounds or I pick up on key words. The reason why I don’t “see” body language and facial expression is because of visual agnosias and visual fragmentation and that is an important difference to mention.

Objects Of Reference

Objects can create relaties in front of me I remember movements, patterns, themes and feels what you are saying – objects can create contextual realities for me as you move them and uses them as examples it grounds me with what you are saying and more importantly meaning.

I have an Autism profile not an Asperger’s Profile 

Fruit Salad Analogy Copyright D.Williams

Fruit Salad Analogy Copyright D.Williams

I think this is very important element to point out I see people with AS and their profiles as unique I am intrigued and amazed with how they use language, strong logical reasoning and literalism to decipher the social world and other elements of it.

Classic Autism 

Although I don’t fit the “typical presentation” of classic autism  that is what my presentation and what my processing and profile innards are (people would have to live with me for a week to experience my processing world).

I was diagnosed with high functioning autism in 2010 with my parents giving a diagnostic history by a clinical psychiatrist this was because of –

and scotopic sensitivity syndrome in 2012 by an Irlen specialist with a additional recognition of severe autism (on my diagnostic report) because of –

Profile Differences

I don’t fit the presentation of Asperger’s Syndrome and these differences are very important in terms of mythbusting what Autism “looks like”. It as diverse set of pre-existing conditions that are stacked that then create the unique profiles and presentations.

Learning and Likes

  • I love melody and movement and music, sound bites, “sounds” of words etc – I one of the reasons why I like certain TV shows and movies isn’t to do with being a visual processor or thinker
  • When I move I think when I think I move
  • The bigger the gestures (with language) the more context I get
  • I have melodies, jingles and sound bites in my head a lot of the time – Musical Ear Syndrome 
  • I don’t learn by pictures they don’t compute and words must be “brought alive”

Remember every profile is unique and different that includes personalities, co-conditions and what “pieces make up the persons Autism. 🙂 

Paul Isaacs 2014


1 Comment

Visual Perceptual Disorders In Autism & Not Thinking In Pictures

Me On My OwnUnderstanding, Processing Visuals & Typical Interpretive Language 

Note this is from a personal developmental perspective 

For someone like me who got diagnosed with Autism in 2010 and later in Scotopic sensitivity syndrome with Visual agnosias (object, meaning and face blindness) as well as Visual-Verbal agnosia (comprehension blindness) and associated learning difficulties this is what I can relate to – I had oral apraxia compacted by auditory and visual processing disorders I saw  (and still  in the present without my tinted lenses) shapes, movements, colours and blobs and couldn’t contextualise where I was in space and time what I was doing (learning by route was a system I learnt) – I had speech and language delay as well as significant motor delays, echolalia and late speech compacted on my ability to understand typical language

I had NO contextual words within my head for along time (even though the capacity was there and I would have gleaming moments of clarity which no one saw or noticed) but I recited jingles, sounds, hums and treated words like “sounds” nor could I visualise words either.

I relate to Donna Williams in this way and it’s important to debunk the myth that all people on the spectrum are thinking in pictures when many clearly aren’t. I still find typical language difficult but I can but try to integrate as much as possible.

One must also differentiate and language processing disorder from mutism it was ironic though when I gained functional speech I had bouts of mutism so the two can interact.

I also have and Autie based profile as opposed to Aspie and this may certainly be one of the reasons why.

Paul Isaacs Adult With Autism 2014


Leave a comment

Placental Abruption – Part of My Autism Profile

Premature 1Placental Abruption 

This a personal account of these issues, my development and my autism profile.

My mother and I where both in distress during her pregnancy – I was born premature and was born via cesarean section  and my Mother suffered heavy bleeding as a result of what is called placental abruption.

“Placental abruption happens when there is bleeding behind the placenta, between the placenta and the wall of the uterus (womb). This may be just a small amount of bleeding. But if you have a large amount of bleeding, the placenta may partially or completely separate from the lining of your uterus before your baby is born.”

Left Hemisphere Brain Injury & Oxygen Deprivation (Hypoxia) 

“25% of babies who experience hypoxic/anoxic injuries at the time of labor will have permanent neurological problems.”

© 2014 Birth Injury Justice.org by Becker Law Firm, L.P.A. All rights reserved.

Aspects Of My Birth 

My Autism profile consists of many speech, language, perceptual and developmental delays  which includes

  • Speech Delay (non-verbal 5 year approx with speech regression)
  • Motor Coordination Delays (crawled with one arm and didn’t start walking until 18 months old)
  • Language Delay (gained functional speech between the ages 7/8 years is that of a 3 year old developmentally)
  • Learning Difficulties (dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia)
  • “Mild” Learning Disability
  • Visual Agnosias (simultagnosia, semantic agnosia, prosopagnosia, visual-verbal agnosia)
  • Auditory Agnosias (pure auditory agnosia, verbal auditory agnosia, receptive and expressive aphasia)
  • Body Agnosias (finger agnosia and visual-spatial dysgnosia)
  • Hemispatial Neglect (related to brain injury, left-handedness, left-right confusion related to Gerstmann Syndrome)

Genetics

They also come into play because there are such things as genetic based agnosias, processing issues and learning difficulties which can be passed down from generations to generation (although the fashion in which this is done is highly variable) the cross over with other profiles seems to be there and commonalities are present in some of the conditions such as.

This However Doesn’t Affect My Character or Personhood

Every person is on a journey of self discovery and revelation this doesn’t make me feel sad nor isolated in anyway quite the opposite I’m still “Paul” and all that in entails these aspects of discovery are the trajectory of my development, my learning, my language, my visual processing etc. They are apart of me but don’t ultimately define – I’m still creative, eager to learn, eager to live and with the set of cards I have been dealt I will use them ultimately to the best of my abilities. Hope springs eternal. 🙂

Special Thanks to Donna Williams & Dr Manuel Casanova

Paul Isaacs 2014


Leave a comment

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

 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

Paul with CamelClassic Autism, Visual & Auditory Perceptual Disorders & 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… and scary and images fragmented… artistic but at times confusing living in a world BEFORE interpretive meaning I treat my expressive language I use now as my foreign/2nd language which I have learnt to use (because Apraxia of speechSpeech delay,Language delay & Aphasia).

Connecting with the World

Hands are my tools for “seeing”, licking, sniffing, tapping, rubbing – I asked the audience to think internally visualise a table I can’t because of semantic agnosia I must “feel” and “experience” a table

Gestural Language & No Visual Memory

Communicating and connecting before expressive functional speech was sounds, clicks, movements to convey communication (still my primary form of communication in my head I had loads to say) – 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 Adult with Autism 2014