Do some aspies have lots of empathy? My seven year old . .



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ptown
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27 Mar 2009, 8:32 pm

it's awesome your daughter won't eat animals. i am veg and have been for over 30 years. your girl rocks!



lyricalillusions
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28 Mar 2009, 1:28 am

I have always been deeply empathetic & sympathetic.


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Aspie1
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28 Mar 2009, 1:38 pm

Over the course of my life, I managed to develop good empathy skills, but even now, I see it as more of a logical, rather than an emotional, skill. It's very thought-out, almost computer-like process. The following is an illustration of it, complete with progress bars.

So let's say someone told me about their close relative passing away.

Analyzing situation:
[0%||||||....................30%]
Result: someone lost a relative.

Calculating reaction:
[0%||||||||||||||..........55%]
Result: I need to say something consoling

Calibrating emotions:
[0%|||||||||||||||||......70%]
Result: I need to sound reassuring without being too emotional

Determining response:
[0%||||||||||||||||||||..90%]
Result: "Man, I'm sorry to hear that. How are you holding up?" said in a calm, reassuring tone.
<waiting for response>

Determining follow-up:
[0%|||||||||||||||||||||.95%]
Result: "He/she lived as long as he/she could. Still, I'm sorry you have to go through it."

Creating closing phrase:
[0%|||||||||||||||||||||100%]
Result: "The truth is, the living must keep moving forward; only the departed stay in one place.

In the end, this worked out very well, and people seemed comfortable with my choice of words. Another thing that helped me is having seen a shrink in the past. While she was good, some of the advice she gave me seemed patronizing and even a little naive at times. (Such as when my parents flat-out refused to get me a pet, the therapist suggested that I "just calmly explain to them how a pet will help me".) So I learned that lesson, and adopted it for use in my calculation process when I'm expected to show empathy.



MONKEY
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28 Mar 2009, 1:49 pm

I am empathetic, and sympathetic.
I am actually over sensitive emotions, I once watched "morph" when I was little and one of the plasticine people shoves cakes in the other ones mouth, I kept thinking about how that little man felt with those cakes forced in his mouth and I was really upset and crying loads.
But sometimes when a friend starts crying or getting emotional I don't know what to do and I feel very uncomfortable.
From what I've read and seen maybe the "lack" of empathy is mostly in boys where as the girls can be very very empathetic.


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AlMightyAl
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28 Mar 2009, 10:56 pm

Since when were people with Aspergers un-empathetic?
I very empathetic and have been my whole life.



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29 Mar 2009, 4:13 am

When I was 5 years old, I recall that our teacher asked us each to bring a story book to school. I told my mother, and that evening she helped me to choose a book. She took me to school the following morning - the book was in her bag, and when we got to the school gate, she got chatting to a neighbour and we both forgot about the book. When I got into the classroom and realised what had happened, I was beside myself with grief, crying uncontrollably, which mystified the teachers. I wasn't sad for myself, it was for my mother, I imagined that she'd be very upset when she realised we'd forgotten the book. But when I got home, I was surprised to find that Mum had taken the problem in her stride.

I don't quite know what to make of that episode. Obvously in terms of AS it looks like a huge capacity for empathy which was misplaced, and that fits very nicely with the idea expressed many times on this thread, that Aspies have empathy but have trouble working out what the other person's emotions are.

But there's a confounding variable.....I'm sure I recall that when Mum helped me to choose the book, she suggested one book in particular. I wasn't so sure I wanted to take that one, and she said something like "oh, don't you want to take that one?" and she came over as being all hurt about it, possibly even pretended she was about to cry. So maybe that's why I thought she'd be so sad about forgetting the book, because she'd deliberately led me to believe that it was very important to her emotionally. I'd sacrificed my own freedom to choose, to protect her from getting so badly hurt, and it had all gone wrong.

It's rather off-topic, but why the hell should anybody want do that to a 5-year-old child?



sunshower
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29 Mar 2009, 6:32 am

Aspie1 wrote:
Over the course of my life, I managed to develop good empathy skills, but even now, I see it as more of a logical, rather than an emotional, skill. It's very thought-out, almost computer-like process. The following is an illustration of it, complete with progress bars.

So let's say someone told me about their close relative passing away.

Analyzing situation:
[0%||||||....................30%]
Result: someone lost a relative.

Calculating reaction:
[0%||||||||||||||..........55%]
Result: I need to say something consoling

Calibrating emotions:
[0%|||||||||||||||||......70%]
Result: I need to sound reassuring without being too emotional

Determining response:
[0%||||||||||||||||||||..90%]
Result: "Man, I'm sorry to hear that. How are you holding up?" said in a calm, reassuring tone.
<waiting for response>

Determining follow-up:
[0%|||||||||||||||||||||.95%]
Result: "He/she lived as long as he/she could. Still, I'm sorry you have to go through it."

Creating closing phrase:
[0%|||||||||||||||||||||100%]
Result: "The truth is, the living must keep moving forward; only the departed stay in one place.

In the end, this worked out very well, and people seemed comfortable with my choice of words. Another thing that helped me is having seen a shrink in the past. While she was good, some of the advice she gave me seemed patronizing and even a little naive at times. (Such as when my parents flat-out refused to get me a pet, the therapist suggested that I "just calmly explain to them how a pet will help me".) So I learned that lesson, and adopted it for use in my calculation process when I'm expected to show empathy.


How did you find out my secret technique???? :lol:


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Emor
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29 Mar 2009, 6:50 am

I can be empathetic, it's just expressing it which is hard.
EMZ=]



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29 Mar 2009, 12:46 pm

Dear B Marie, there are a great deal of people with Aspergers whom have a sufficient and sustainability as, it pertains to the issue of Empathy.Mind you, this is always differing from person to person within the spectrum as, not forgetting the scenario as well.I,myself tend to be able to related empathic with most people but, it's not always noticeable nor, is it the same with all people I come across but, don't let this deter you for, I'm simply trying to present a clear picture of such even if, I'm not the best representative of such..


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ThisisjusthowItalk
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29 Mar 2009, 2:38 pm

bmarie wrote:
Two teachers now have hinted that my seven-year-old girl may have Asperger's Syndrome. I agree that many of the characteristics I read about fit her: lack of understanding nonverbal social cues, physical small and gross-motor delays, absolute honesty, not modulating voice well, social immaturity, less eye contact than normal, seeming to come in out of the blue in conversation, as if she has heard no one else speaking, being lost often in "the wonderful factory of my mind, mom." She doesn't have a prevailing interest, unless you count the imaginative world in her head, where she prefers to be much of the time.

However, she is wonderfully empathetic--almost more so than other people, so I have always ruled out Asperger's syndrome. She won't eat animals because it will hurt them (from age five). She is always thinking of kindnesses for others. Her kindnesses are often grand and pointed, though, rather than subtle and natural.

Our question: Can you have Asperger's syndrome and still be in tune to emotion and highly empathetic?
Dear. Autists have difficulty detecting other people's emotions. Even low-functioning autists can become inconsolably distressed if they realize they have hurt another person's feelings.

It's just very rude to try to read people's minds. Unethical. Dirty.



redplanet
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29 Mar 2009, 3:24 pm

I struggle with defining what empathy actually is. I think I'm very empathic in many ways, as I get disturbed by horrific images on the news and can myself to sleep sometimes. I think I understand how people are feeling and I react strongly when I see someone's emotional reaction to an event - as long as this is on TV.

If I see someone crying or having another strong emotional reaction in real life I tend to bolt - can't handle it. I can't do the comfort thing as I just don't know what to say or do, but it isn't that I don't care as I care very deeply.

But then sometimes I get very upset because I think someone has been hurt, but in fact what is upsetting me is what the situation has stirred in ME. I'm not actually experiencing what the other person is feeling, but I'm relating it to something I have been through in the past. Therefore I can't be experiencing empathy as it's nothing to do with the person's feelings, only my perception of them based on my own emotions. That can't be true empathy can it, as it's all about me?

But then doesn't everyone only experience life through their own eyes, so how can we put ourselves into someone else's shoes, as they define it?

I'm so confused :?



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29 Mar 2009, 3:38 pm

redplanet wrote:
I struggle with defining what empathy actually is. I think I'm very empathic in many ways, as I get disturbed by horrific images on the news and can myself to sleep sometimes. I think I understand how people are feeling and I react strongly when I see someone's emotional reaction to an event - as long as this is on TV.

If I see someone crying or having another strong emotional reaction in real life I tend to bolt - can't handle it. I can't do the comfort thing as I just don't know what to say or do, but it isn't that I don't care as I care very deeply.

But then sometimes I get very upset because I think someone has been hurt, but in fact what is upsetting me is what it the situation has stirred in ME. I'm not actually experiencing what the other person is feeling, but I'm relating it to something I have been through in the past. Therefore I can't be experiencing empathy as it's nothing to do with the person's feelings, only my perception of them bases in my own emotions. That can't be true empathy can it, as it's all about me?

But then doesn't everyone only experience life through their own eyes, so how can we put ourselves into someone else's shoes, as they define it?

I'm so confused :?


You have just described me, every bit of it


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30 Mar 2009, 7:18 am

ThisisjusthowItalk wrote:
Autists have difficulty detecting other people's emotions. Even low-functioning autists can become inconsolably distressed if they realize they have hurt another person's feelings.


If I understand what empathy is correctly, then I understand that as meaning that those with autism has less empathy generally than most folks, but have stronger feelings when they do have empathy.



Danielismyname
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30 Mar 2009, 7:31 am

People with ASDs have low or no empathy. However, those with insight/awareness can use their cognitive ability to work out the situation; it'll usually be delayed, but it'll be there. It's just not "felt" instantly.

Yes, once individuals realize what's going down, they then understand and care.

Sympathy isn't affected, and that's far more important than empathy in regards to decent and good behaviour, as if you know what it's like to have something happen, like if someone hits you you know it hurts, so the individual with an ASD will realize that it hurts the person when they hit said person.

Some "unlucky" individuals can have a double hit in regards to lacking empathy, and that's comorbid psychopathy (i.e., they don't care when they figure it out). There's two types of empathy.



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27 Aug 2010, 12:00 pm

Gurath wrote:
I think so. I am the most empathetic person in my family, which is saying something. I can tell at a glance if someone is upset and I usualy go and just be near them and attempt to figure out whats wrong. (not that I can actualy do anything to help but I guess people find it comferting to tell someone about their problems). My Psychologist called me the "weather vein" of my family as I become upset if there is to much turmoil and am calm when everyone else is calm.


I think you just desribed me. If there is one inkling of yelling, I can get upset and plug my ears. Same for conflict; I just feel depressed and guilty.



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