Paul Isaacs' Blog

Autism from the inside

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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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Visual Fragmentation – Autism & Simultagnosia – Autism Fruit Salad D. Williams Explained Part 5


Personal account of Visual Fragmentation & Simultagnosia. ūüôā

Enjoy ūüôā

Using Donna Williams Fruit Salad Analogy (1995/2005)

Paul Isaacs Adult with Autism 2014

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Autism & Prosopagnosia – How I Remember People

Many people on the Autism Spectrum have Prosopagnosia (Face Blindness)  and here are some examples  of how I remember people at conferences and people close to me.

Dad and I Butlins 1991


I have¬†Prosopagnosia¬†(Faceblindness) and Visual Fragmentation issues¬†Visual agnosias (Object Blindness & Meaning Blindness) ¬†as apart of my Autism Fruit and I have no visual memory like fellow Autistic¬†Donna Williams¬†two people let me touch their faces (so I could have a “blueprint” and kinesthetic memory) which was very moving to me because I can “remember/connect” with them through touching them. I do not remember or process faces by looking at them the information is too complicated, so remember when an autistic wants to touch a face they may be face-blind a need to get sense of who you are.¬†


  • I remember people generally by their voice and pick up basic movements also. this is a common feature in people with visual agnosias. I recently meet someone ¬†today in a shop and remember them by the “patterns” of their movement and then by their voice. The face however is far to9 fragmented to comprehend.
  • I asked a lady on Facebook¬†who she is and the context of where we are connected
  • I remembered another lady on the spectrum¬†by her voice (a common thing people do with¬†Visual agnosias)
  • I noticed ¬†a person’s Lanyard and repeated his name externally (phonics/sounds) (I remembered the name on Facebook) and made the connection.
  • As I was calm during this event recognised two people¬†by “sensing” this is beyond visual or auditory stimuli or semantic recognition this is “energy” which we all emit that I was picking up this can happen with me too.


Paul Isaacs 2014