American Asperger's Association Support Group

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My thoughts on the whole "empathy" thing

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1 My thoughts on the whole "empathy" thing on Thu Dec 18, 2008 9:56 am

csweepigirl

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For the last week or so, I have been researching hours upon hours a day. The most MISUNDERSTOOD point of Asperger's syndrome, is the misconception that we don't feel. I am NOT talking about this page, so please don't get mad. =p
It is dangerous and unfair to think or conclude that someone with Asperger's doesn't feel a certain thing because it isn't being expressed in an NT recognizable way, or expressed at all. This is where I think the biased stereotypical way in which professionals (and others) can lump us all together.

By the way, whether you are NT or have AS, you cannot know what is in someone's mind or heart if it's not shared with your or communicated to you. Please be careful about reading the definition of Asperger's and then thinking that each and every one of us with AS is exactly like that. It's just not the case.
For example, someone is scared and awaiting test results for cancer. I don't know of any phone numbers to give them to help. I don't know who to tell them to call. It's not that I don't feel sad for them. I flat out do not know what to do. I am quiet. I'm not crying like "they" think I should be. I am thinking of how to fix it, thinking of what I can tell them to get the situation fixed, like what they should do next. They last thing in my mind is to give them a hug. My mind is thinking of fixing the situation. I don't want to give them a hug that will only make them feel better for a minute. I want to find the answer, so that the problem is gone. Another example is good news. I don't jump around and express joy like others. It doesn't mean I'm not just as happy inside. I have a problem communicating these feelings. I've tried to "adapt" and smile. Sometimes an hour after the good news, I get very excited. It just doesn't come as naturally and quickly as someone without a neurological disorder.
I wish someone would take another look at the diagnostic criteria and make a few changes .
Sincerely, Kim

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