Empathy And ASD: Why I Disagree With The Lack Of Empathy Stereotype. 

Disclaimer: I am merely a student blogger on the internet, without any medical qualifications. I do not intend to blog in any advisory manner, so whatever you do after reading these posts are at your own risk. I cannot take responsibility for whatever infaction that may occur.

It has been just over two years since I was diagnosed with Aspergers Sydrome; to be honest, it was a long time coming, and I think pretty obvious to anyone that knows me. (Whole idea of being a textbook version, really, I guess.) But I’ve been inspired in the way that Nicole at Thrifty Vintage Fashion writes-how she writes about OCD, Depression, etc. I wanted to do a little piece about ASD and the whole issue of empathy.

One of the hallmarks of this impairment is a lack of empathy. Whilst I don’t dispute this-obviously I can’t, because it’s medical, and would be wrong to do so-what bothers me is the way that this can be perceived to such an extreme.

Aspergers Sydrome has various different characteristics-but not all of them are found in a diagnosed indurvidual. (Whilst I have the obsessive interest part of the impairment-I could talk about Jacqueline Kennedy, US Presidents, Anne Frank all day long-I don’t really have the meltdowns side of things. Whilst I can become incredibly anxious, I don’t exhibit what’s characteristic of this.) But empathy-the lack of-seems to be perceived as a general thing for all. And because of the spectrum disorder detail, I often wonder: how can this be true, that all people with ASD are apparently lacking in empathy? 

It can’t be.

Almost by default, this post is a tribute to the people I know who have Autism; they are some of the most caring people I have come to know. They are some of the first people who ask me every morning how I am, what’s wrong, etc. The only part of empathy that they lack is that they don’t always understand the social problems-and not caring for the seemingly petty aggrievances that become so typical in an instutional enviroment. 

To say that all people with ASD is a lazy stereotype, I conclude; we are still indurviduals who think and feel, just in a different way to what’s convention. I know that I can be perceived as uncaring at times-and to write this post without putting that would make me a bit of a hypocrite-but it’s because of the difference. 

What do you think?

Lydia

XO

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