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The Empathetic Aspie Answered

I have personally experienced how a very young (8 year old) child with Asperger's showed quick and unthinking empathy for me when I 
#1: dropped the tiny screws onto the floor, 
#2: nearly tripped over a stool, called myself doplic and she responded immediately: no you're not !
& #3:  when I stood up and my soft head came in contact with a COMPLETELY immovable table top.  

It was my first clue when several outside the syndrome showed me they had no idea WHAT we feel or how we express ourselves, that we are indeed FULL of emotion and concern - we just don't always "read" others well - the face that is.

Also, I have this Blog as a reference to back up my observation:  Asperger Empathy



    ADDENDUM:  there are two specific reasons for the blood to be tested in this area:  #1: genetically, but the main reason is of course to #2: eliminate all other possible causes for the symptoms.
 

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lemonie (author)2012-06-16

Everybody can feel empathy like that if they want to / do.
The "no idea WHAT-" thing is about getting out of yourself and into other people and how that works or doesn't.

L

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Goodhart (author)lemonie2012-06-17

Ok, I chose the word "several" for good reason. Not everyone, nor even the majority of those educated would fit that. But I have come across a few persons, some up close and personal, that either feel Asperger's describes an undisciplined child (why that would make them "high end" is not explained) OR they feel that we have no emotions. Aspies don't read them well (facial expressions) but I have repeatedly seen them express empathy, concern, caring, and they always seem to want to HELP.

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lemonie (author)Goodhart2012-06-17

A person can be described as an undisciplined child OR having no emotions without being Aspie.
It's not a one-way thing.

L

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lizzyastro (author)lemonie2012-06-18

Any child can be very poor at empathy for others, especially when the emotion is invoked by a situation they have never experienced. The hurt caused by a bang on the head is understandable from a fairly early age.

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Goodhart (author)lizzyastro2012-06-18

True, and since she already had the Diagnosis (even the blood work was done) it was just another example of how a portion of the public misconstrues reality. I have been told bluntly that I am empathetic and so could not have Asperger's. It is just so wrong to make such a blanket statement that is totally false.

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lemonie (author)Goodhart2012-06-20

Labelling people is often unproductive.
The sort of thing that happens is that people get tagged with "this/that" and they don't like it. They then find ways to say being"this/that" is just as good as "normal", in fact it's actually better to be "this/that".
Then you've got two sets of people who don't communicate with each other well, because they both think they're great/understand better, and other people are "defective" or ignorant.

L

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Goodhart (author)lemonie2012-06-21

So, you are simpley a person, not male of female; wait, even that is a label, um, animal, no....still a label....hmmm, I am hard put to say anything about anything that isn't some form of label. To understand "defects" is to understand how to overcome them. If we just ignore them, people suffer.

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lemonie (author)Goodhart2012-06-22

I wrote that labelling people is often unproductive.
A label doesn't always give an understanding, which is exactly the point you were making in the topic.

L

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Goodhart (author)lemonie2012-06-22

That is true, still a diagnosis, albeit one that is considered a specturm, still needs some guidelines. There has to be a boundary, and that creates, sadly an inner and outer "circle". All too often, I hear about "appearances" of actions being substituted for what is really going on inside. That was the point I had wanted to make. I guess I didn't do such a tidy job of it :-)

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lemonie (author)Goodhart2012-06-23

I got your point, it was a good train of thought for me.

L

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Goodhart (author)lemonie2012-06-24

Oh ok, sorry for over explaining.

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canucksgirl (author)lemonie2012-06-20

I'd like to know what kind of world we'd live in if we didn't label people. I agree that it can be unproductive, but whether we realize it or not we consciously and subconsciously label people and base assumptions all the time.

A good example was about a man who was seen by several people acting strangely and slurring his words. Now the complacent assumption is that this man is drunk (as sadly we do this in poorer neighborhoods). The reality is that this man was suffering a stroke, and his care was delayed because of the labels and conclusions we make.

Now back to this topic, I'm no expert on Aspie characteristics and what may or may not be considered "the norm", but even with similar traits, I would expect variations between individuals, and not assume that one un-empathetic Aspie, is to conclude that "all" Aspie's are incapable of empathy.

I could be wrong, but my interpretation of Goodhart's topic is to suggest that this conclusion about Aspie's is not accurate at all. That they too can feel empathy, but might not have the same abilities to read the subtle cues that others can see with facial expressions and body language; and perhaps have been unfairly labelled because some are missing these cues.

* Goodhart: Please correct me if I am wrong, as I don't intend to try and speak for you. ;-)

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Goodhart (author)canucksgirl2012-06-21

Your example of the "DRUNK" fellow fits perfectly. What we see is often (more often then we'd like to admit) completely WRONG. What appears as lack of empathy to one is total empathy to those on the spectrum

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Goodhart (author)lemonie2012-06-20

Really? So, if you go to a doctor and he doesn't label you as having a virus rather then a bacterial infestation or a fungal problem, he should just give everyone the same medicine; according that  logic. Treat em all the same, to avoid labeling someone?

This is why there are also blood tests, and if one wants to go so far, brain scans that can demonstrate the differences between an NT (neuro-Typical as the term  "normal" is subjective) as apposed to one on the spectrum.   

There are really so many differences, that it is no wonder we feel like we are living on the "wrong planet".

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Lithium Rain (author)Goodhart2012-06-20

I repeat: what blood test? I can't find a credible source for any kind of blood test for Asperger's.

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Lithium Rain (author)Goodhart2012-06-20

Ummm...what? I cannot find a credible medical source which even mentions a blood test for Asperger's Syndrome in passing (which makes sense inasmuch as it is a developmental disorder with mainly neurological, psychological, and social manifestations). What are you referring to?

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Goodhart (author)Lithium Rain2012-06-21

Blood work, besides parental genetic markers, is mainly done to elimintate ALL other possible causes for the symptoms. It is not a blood test FOR Asperger's, it is evidence that it is not anything else.

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Goodhart (author)lemonie2012-06-18

No, but she had already been diagnosed.....and I have been told by some (too many actually) that seem to refuse to understand

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caitlinsdad (author)2012-06-16

Umm, I feel your pain? This is confusing as to why this indicates people outside the syndrome have no idea what you feel or how you express words of comfort. #2 describes someone being polite as you called yourself a doplic. I don't know what happens in #4 as the situation evolves but did that illustrate that no first aid was to be expected as you received a concussion?.

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Goodhart (author)caitlinsdad2012-06-17

This is confusing as to why this indicates people outside the syndrome have no idea what you feel or how you express words of comfort.

As I mentioned to Lemonie, It doesn't. Several means "some" that say "we are emotionless, empathy-less, etc.".  Ok, I wasn't clear - give me a moment to fix it. 

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caitlinsdad (author)Goodhart2012-06-17

Ok, I'me here for you on your "rant". Should the child be scolded for not calling you a "bumbling oaf" and laugh at your predicament from bumping your head? There is really no right answer, NT or aspie, as the most appropriate response. I was only interested when you said "it was your first clue" that it was this experience when you first recognized something that affects the way you act.

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Goodhart (author)caitlinsdad2012-06-17

It was my first experience demonstrating how those that DO believe this were most definitely incorrect.

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canucksgirl (author)2012-06-17

Whether people fully understand or relate to you or not… I give you credit for having the courage to be honest about yourself, and to share all the unique qualities that make you an individual. I think that we're all capable of being sensitive and insensitive, wise and unwise, and kind and unkind. But we don't all have the same courage to be transparent about ourselves and to be open to all the criticism and feedback that comes from that kind of honesty.

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