Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Study: People with autism do not lack empathy

A new study has found that individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome don’t lack empathy – in fact if anything they empathise too much.

Yes. This ground-breaking study suggests people with autism spectrum disorders such as Asperger’s do not lack empathy – rather, they feel others’ emotions too intensely to cope.
This article says:
"People with Asperger's syndrome, a high functioning form of autism, are often stereotyped as distant loners or robotic geeks. But what if what looks like coldness to the outside world is a response to being overwhelmed by emotion – an excess of empathy, not a lack of it?
This idea resonates with many people suffering from autism-spectrum disorders and their families. It also jibes with the “intense world” theory, a new way of thinking about the nature of autism.
As posited by Henry and Kamila Markram of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne the theory suggests that the fundamental problem in autism-spectrum disorders is not a social deficiency but, rather, a hypersensitivity to experience, which includes an overwhelming fear response.
“I can walk into a room and feel what everyone is feeling,” Kamila Markram says. “The problem is that it all comes in faster than I can process it. There are those who say autistic people don’t feel enough. We’re saying exactly the opposite: They feel too much.”"
To read more of this article, click here.
This study confirms what I know about my son. He is often too emotional, too aware, too conscious of other peoples' feelings, always wanting to connect, even kissing and hugging fellow school pick-up parents at his school who he has never met. After (even before) they get over their initial shock and I explain it all, every single parent embraces and loves it.
As do I... as do I. And I wouldn't change that for anything.