Asperger’s and Empathy: Shifting Away from Dated Misconceptions

When I was going through my assessment process, the psychiatrist kept banging on about empathy. In the end I told him, “Of course I feel empathy  I just express it differently. I do practical love.” What I didn’t say was: “You’re ideas are so outdated I want to slap you with a book, point you in the direction of some wonderful autistic people online, and by the way, the stuff you call empathy is empty platitudes. Either do something to help a person or shut the fuck up.”

One of the dominant characterizations of people on the autism spectrum is that they lack empathy or are empathy-disrupted.  This is based on the paradigm that autistic people aren’t able to intuit the emotions and needs of others, or that people on…

Source: Asperger’s and Empathy: Shifting Away from Dated Misconceptions

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4 thoughts on “Asperger’s and Empathy: Shifting Away from Dated Misconceptions

  1. I think psychiatrists in general, have empathy deficits themselves! We actually often experience more intense forms of empathy, & have to find ways to keep it from overwhelming us! For example, I tend to avoid large groups of highly emotionally excited people & I don’t necessarily get sucked into feeling the same thing that they are. I really hate people telling us that our emotions are wrong just because we experience and express them differently. Often it seems like they just want you to express some type of fake emotion to get them off your case, and this is especially annoying if you’re a woman. It’s like 50 bazillion fake smiles all the time!

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