Thursday, September 5, 2013

Empathy and lies

I've been thinking a lot lately about the assumption that people on the autistic spectrum don't really have a sense of empathy.  It's a lie, or maybe a better word for it, is falsehood.  Whatever you call it, it's not true and this idea of how autistic people think probably won't die in my lifetime and that of lots of people younger than me.  What many non-autistic people see, (and if they don't they don't they need to take a closer look) is that many people on the spectrum, some children, some adults, have an undeveloped sense of empathy, which is different from not even having one.  I have a sense of empathy, although I do have to admit that it didn't develop at all until I was in my early teens.  But it only extended to our family pets, for a long time.  I didn't feel empathy ( which I'm pretty sure means being able to put myself in somebody else's shoes) for actual human beings until I was in my mid to late twenties.  So there you go.  Empathy actually does live on the spectrum....but you might have to be autistic to actually be able to see it.

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