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Showing posts from August, 2008

More on Empathy (Empathy versus Emotion)

Today, I'm returning to the subject of Empathy because it's a very important part of the Aspergers condition. We lack empathy, but we're not incapable of it. It's just a lot of hard work for us.

My previous post on Empathy is linked here

I've just answered a fascinating question on WrongPlanet about the difference between Empathy and Emotion. It took a fair amount of thinking but I feel that I've captured the basics -though, as usual, I'm quite happy to be corrected. I was so happy with my thinking that I've expanded the whole thing here to become my topic of the day.

The Difference between Empathy and Emotion
Empathy deals with understanding (and in some cases, replication) of someone else's emotions or state of mind while emotions are focussed solely upon your own feelings.

As a result;
You can be empathetic without showing emotions. You can show emotion without being empathetic.
Example 1: Empathy without showing Emotion
A neighbour loses his wife…

The Mysterious Female Aspie

There's a lot of evidence to suggest that aspergers is much more common in males than in females.

This is, at least in part, due to the nature of human genetic makeup. Men have an XY chromosome structure while women have XX.

If one or more partners is genetically damaged or "different", there exists, in females, the ability to "repair" the genetic differences using DNA from the other X chromosome. Such a facility isn't available to men.

This means that men are much more likely to show genetic damage or differences and that women can often be "silent carriers".

That said, there's still considerably fewer female aspies than you'd expect.

Personally, I think this comes down to differences in behavior and detection. Women tend to have less social difficulties than men, particularly with the opposite gender because they're usually approached, rather than having to do the approaching themselves.

There's also a suggestion that "Girls …

Article: Especially for Grandparents of Children With Asperger Syndrome

Update: Nancy Mucklow, the Author of this article, has her own web site and it contains a lot of other good information - You are encouraged to visit it;
Talking Sense: http://www.nancymucklow.com/talkingsense/

I've just read the following article (thanks DietCoke for making me aware of it) and I figured it was worth linking to;

It's in several places on the internet so I've just chosen the best formatted version to link to;

Especially for Grandparents of Children With Asperger Syndrome
By Nancy Mucklow
http://asdrendrewolf.org/apovonautism/letter.php

In any case, the letter is great reading and touches more than a few nerves I've experienced both as a child (from my grandparents) and as a father (from my parents and parents-in-law).

It's worth a read and well worth forwarding onto your aspie's grandparents.

Aspergers and Sleep Disorders

I've noted a link between aspergers and sleep disorders.

My son takes hours to go to sleep and is sometimes awake in the middle of the night. I used to think that it was his ritalin (he's on it for his ADHD/ADD) but I noticed that when he has a break from the ritalin, during school holidays for example, his sleeplessness is unchanged.

I also remember from my own childhood and most of my adulthood, that I had sleeping problems too. I still do occasionally though these days, the dual stresses of work and family combine to make me tired enough to drop off.

I've also learned to cope with sleeplessness better by staying up until I really feel tired then going straight to the bedroom with my eyes partially close and without talking or doing any "thinking" work. In winter, I even go so far as to wrap myself in a doona (blanket) while watching TV and staying "wrapped" all the way to the bedroom. Even so, it's fairly common for me to go to bed at between 11.…

A bit of Aspergian Pride

I've posted links on this site from time to time but I usually avoid long posts of just links.

I'm making an exception in this case for a few reasons;

1. Obviously I want to join the Aspergian pride site
2. A list of links like this is a good way to find out what other aspies are up to.

One of the most interesting lines on the aspergian pride site is a request that "others will respect and value our diversity, instead of calling for our extermination by way of prenatal testing and eugenic abortion".

For those who aren't familiar with the term, Eugenics was a genocidal theory proposed in the late 1800s which had a wide following amongst otherwise sensible scholars in the 1940s. It formed a large part of the basis for the Nazi atrocities of World War II. Eugenics has a particular relevance to autism because the elimination of autistic children by selective breeding is no different from the elimination of racial groups by the same method. It deserves a post all of i…