Me - Premature Birth - 1986

Like most people (if not e
verybody!) I was born. No I didn't come from outer space to nor did I come from depths of an abandoned pumpkin patch or from under a sickly tree. I was however premature about a month to exact. I also had jaundice as a baby and was pulled out because my Mum had to have an emergency caesarean section (CS)  this was also due to a placental abruption so in early pictures you can see signs of brain injury (clasped hands and looking spaced out not focusing) and was put in a strange plastic container to keep me alive and well. It worked I suppose because I wouldn't be typing this at this very moment would I!

Me - 6 Months Old - 1986

Genetics - Autism in the Family/Birthing -Environmental Factors

Many people have their own opinions about Autism and how a person comes to have it. Here is is my own personal perspective on why I think I have Autism.suppose my birth have a lot to do with this I have heard from other parents of children with Autism that a premature birth along with birthing complications (JaundiceCerebral Hypoxia, Silent Stroke & Brain Injury can contribute to someone having Autism and I have read recently on an online article that babies which are born prematurely are more likely to have developmental disorders. The next in my case is genetics Autism does at least in my case run through three generations of my family and potentially more! I think from a experiences it good to observe and question family members on certain experiences you never know what you may find!

                                                             Parents in the early 1980's                     Grandparent's 50th Anniversary

                                                                          © Isaacs/Harpwood 2012/1980's/2005


Early Years - Classic Autism/Kanner's Autism


When I was little there where clear signs that I had Autism and when I was younger I was (and still am) "classically" Autistic I had no functional speech and parroted my own speech which is called Palilalia ("loo-loo" & "nan") then other peoples which was Echolalia (copying TV characters) and finally I parroted movements which was Echopraxia (copying movements of others including TV characters) and Echomimia (copying facial expressions). I call these the The Four Echoes which were certainly very prominent in my early years.
Dad & I (as a classicly autistic child)
© Isaacs/ 2012/1989

The Four Echoes - Echopenomena

  1. Palilalia
  2. Echolalia
  3. Echomimia 
  4. Echopraxia

Gaining "Functional" Language


It wasn't until I was seven or eight years old that I gained a "functional grasp" on language as basic tool to communicate with others around me I can't explain how this happened. I have tried to and I just cannot it simply happened and I feel grateful that it came along because it has given me a voice which sadly a lot of people with Autism find hard to have for a variety of complicated reasons. I still have problems with understanding language I phase in and out of conversations with people sometimes only picking up a few words. This however has improved but it continues to be a problem that I have to deal with. Gaining language also expanded my world in way which looking back I never thought was possible. For years I had lived in my own private sensory based world and world of pattern, theme an feel (D.Williams) (and to this day I still do!!) but now I'm in world of chatterboxes and I can chatter-box with them! However I have very different way of using and experiencing language to people with Asperger's I'm not as literal and have meaning deafness (language processing disorder), which makes it hard for me to converse with people at times.

Getting A Diagnosis


Yes its a funny old world isn't it but its a common theme that I have have come to observe that many people with Autism & Asperger's Syndrome get a diagnosis later in life. I was 24 Years old when I got a formal diagnosis of Autism. Its funny really I already knew what I had before I went into the room I was so pleased that the person who diagnosed me was compassionate understanding individual whom has helped me and my family a lot I thank him for this time and effort and above all kindness.

So Mr Isaacs do you have Autism? Or do you have Asperger's?

A question to myself that I feel must be answered lets look at the history. Many people debate about the differences between someone with a diagnosis of Autism  & Asperger's Syndrome. Some people thing there are no differences what so ever others think there are a few but not enough to warrant any special place for HFA as a separate diagnosis.
I have however from personal research and with the wonderful help of fellow Autistic Donna Williams believe there are clear differences. The "phasing" in and out of conversations and being mono tracked is one difference the next is the fact that I live in a sensory based world as opposed to a logic based world people with Asperger's Syndrome have. I not a very logical person the only solid logic I have is my sensory based thinking, which is perceptional state before accessing "meaning" and "interpretation" the thinking and forming I had before I grasped language and understood language as a tool. So folks to answer your question I'm do not have Asperger's I  have Autism.
For more information on Donna's observations please checkout her blog entitled