Paul Isaacs' Blog

Autism from the inside


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What if Life Was One Big Metaphor?

Image result for melting pot

Language and the use of it can be varied to the point that if you tried to think about all the language that people process and the variety of differing ways people interpret, receives, express, share, not share, avoid, connect, disconnect etc it is rather big and somewhat scary!

I can rote learn fun lines from advertisements, jingles, songs. Metaphors are some of these funny lines. I can learn metaphors as fun lines just like any other. And I commonly jumble them or use them in the wrong places, boldly certain I’m being linguistically creative and sounding like a total pratt. It is many the time I have looked at a supressed giggle or cringed at the overt ones as I fall over metaphors. I like metaphors, they are funny, but there’s a difference between learning language through rote and grasping, retrieiving and applying it based on interpretive understanding.

But to say Autistic people can’t understand metaphor is also a myth.

I may struggle with metaphors I haven’t had fully explained to me but boy oh boy… my entire life is like a metaphor.

Donna Williams

My late Grandfather was literal, pragmatic and had social emotional agnosia so he had a very linear, direct and conscientious in his way of expression. I have met others who are very much non-linear with their language tumbling, with neologisms, idiosyncratic and poetic . I have meet people who sense rather than interpret and other who interpret rather than sense.

It is in the end a massive melting pot of expression.

Paul Isaacs 2018


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My World Employment- Reflections Of A Year Gone By

I would like thank the staff and people of My World for the opportunity 

Last year I got an an opportunity to work in a nice small house that caters for people on the autism spectrum it resides in a small quite village with rolling fields and picturesque surroundings.

I have been working ever since I was 15 years old so I have been in employment for over the same amount of time! I have always found that work makes a place is the people in the place it not about how a building looks or if its new or old it is about the overriding ethos in the placement you work and that for anybody counts.

I am pleased to be apart of a team that has a strong ethos which is grounded, emphatic, person-centred and realistic in its delivery and support. I feel that could be ported over to any job regardless of if the person has disability or not.

Paul Isaacs 2016


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If I Wasn’t A Person First Then What Would I be?

Me Baby Looking to Side

“PIECES” OF MY AUTISM?

This is why I see myself as a “person first” because autism is not the sum and total of my being and I do not see as the totality of my existence, this isn’t because I am ashamed it is because I don’t see faceblindness as “me”, simultagnosia as “me”, semantic agnosia as “me”, aphasia as “me”, alexithymia as “me” and all the other pieces of my autism “fruit salad” as the totality of “me”.

PERSONALITY TYPES

I have personality traits mercurial, idiosyncratic, self-sacrificing and serious which impacts and interacts with environmental and identity development and mental health co-conditions that come part of the “package”.

I AM HUMAN

My experience is not an “autistic” experience (you cannot define that anyway) it is a collective experience as a person who happens to have a stacking of pre-existing conditions high enough for it be called “autism”

If I wasn’t a person first then what would I be?

Paul Isaacs 2016


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Family Members, Emotional Fallout’s & Positive Strategies For The Future

Mum and Dad 2005“I live with the fallout of people’s actions and cruel words towards Paul, and I suffer as much as Paul because of their insensitivity. All Paul wants to do is help others, but I find when he needs help professionals don’t want to know. I feel so upset.”

I feel that as a family we are close, we always have been my Father and Mother as I have documented in this blog, my books and speeches have been empowering to both my development and confidence over years They never over-protected me, molly coddled me or babied me they gave me rules, contexts and tools for life. Hence why my first job was 15 years they knew I would only learn from practice not just theory.

Mum & Dad Bournmouth 2000sMy Mum’s worries as a family member come from two angles firstly the problem with over-projecting one’s point (to the point of emotional insensitivity) not acknowledging the fallout of a person’s words creating a ripple effect and second is the promises that my Mum was given many years ago haven’t been fulfilled – however as a family unit we talk and think of strategies to move forward and carry one within a positive framework not matter what negativity comes our way.

Paul Isaacs  2014


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Speech & Language Processing -The Words Within Myself & How Precious Words Are

Me Holding Something 2

 

OVERVIEW

This is a personal overview of my Autism “Fruit Salad”

For the first 5 years of my life I was functionally non-verbal (internal jumbles of sounds with words within myself but unable to come out) and there was a massive disconnect, words were sounds, sounds had no origin, language was internally and externally jumbled so I had no language with meaning in my head, people were fragmented blobs making “noises” to each other, when I had budding moments of connectivity I lost them due to a mouth and tongue not coordinating. Of course the capacity for words was within me  and words were within me but sensory perceptual issues and coordination issues played their part in this.

I did begin to piece things together I was aware of what others were saying about me in the playground at primary school for example, this is documented in my first book Living Through The Haze.

Parts of my Fruit Salad played apart in this such as

  • Simultagnosia – seeing things in bits and pieces, losing “wholes” and “connecting dots things where all fragmented.
  • Semantic Agnosia – I touched to perceive, to experience, to navigate, to sense, to connect, to understand my own self in relation to other and I also touched to communicate.
  • Aphasia – words were like sounds with no meaning, context or function other than it was a sound emitted from a fragmented blob as time progressed contextually words would come. and go however because of my outward behaviour I listened to some very ignorant things about myself without others connecting I was listening/processing.
  • Auditory Agnosia – I heard sounds and even now I wonder contextually where they come from sometimes sounds fill with wonder and confusion.
  • Visual-Verbal Agnosia – This along with Dyslexia made it hard for me to read with meaning and an understanding of what was on the page in front of me.
  • Oral Apraxia – One of the reasons I struggled to speak in the early years was the physically disconnect between my brain finding words and my body expressing them.
  • Echolalia/Echopraxia/Echomimia – These were used during my period of development where I was experimenting with words and movements and sounds – this was during the time I acquired functional speech

More info on my webpage about speech and language processing 

Paul 1996 - 7 2

 

TV Shows

I loved Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Hook my gateway to movement and language – when functional expressive speech came at 7/8 years old, it was developmentally that of a 3 year old I have to admit I was scared of this new language and wanted to go back but I kept moving forward. I still rely on the sensing system and at home I use this language still, I am glad that had parents that didn’t write me off. 🙂

All Profiles Are Different & Other Forms Of Communication

Please realise that all different profiles are different and please also be aware the people who do not speak through their mouths have a  human right to be able communicate, this is something I feel strongly about and something that should be embraced and acknowledged.

Paul Isaacs 2014