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Showing posts from March, 2013

In order to Receive Empathy, we must first Teach it - Part 1

I grew up in a household where we were encouraged to keep ourselves to ourselves. If someone asked for help and we could give it, then we would - except if that help was deemed "too much work" or if that person was considered a "crazy person".  We would never offer help though - not without being asked because it was the job of the "helpless" to ask for support. "Crazy people" were drunks, "druggies" and older, senile people. We never helped them unless we were cornered into it - and even then, the help that was given was only ever a means of escape.  These days of course, I recognize that these are terrible and callous attitudes to have but suppose I hadn't been taught that. Would I be the same today? I remember my mother picking up an old woman in the car. She made it clear to us before picking the woman up that she was a "mad woman" and my sister and I sat in the back seat fearing for our lives.  We later asked h

Some insights on Empathy

The concept of empathy is a much discussed topic in Asperger's circles but I'm starting to wonder what all the fuss is about. You see, I feel that empathy has little to do with Asperger's syndrome.  So why continue to write about it? I guess I just want the myths understood and "busted". Our family has just been through twenty-one days of hell and while the worst is clearly over, there's still a quite bit to come.  It has been a tense emotional and very very painful situation in which we needed all of the help and empathy we could find.   It's hard For me to take a step back from the situation and look at things objectively but the situation revealed some surprising insights into empathy and asperger's syndrome which I feel need to be shared. Particular insights include; There is a huge learned component to empathy. In order to receive empathy, we must first teach it. Neurotypcials can be far less empathetic than people with aspergers syndro