Neither Aloof Nor Detached: the Reality of Autistic Empathy

The Unpuzzled Project

aut empathy illustration

[Image is a circular light blue face with crying green eyes and frowning pink lips.]

Today, I’ve been reflecting upon empathy and autism. I know that in many cases, the autistic person is believed to be too withdrawn (“in their own little world”) or too aloof (not caring about others, lacking social skills, etc.) to experience empathy. Yet, I know that I am autistic and have empathy, although it may not be the same type of empathy that allistics (non-autistics) experience. To say that autistic people lack empathy is dangerous, because that sort of idea is widespread and is commonly used to dehumanize autistic people, presenting us as robotic or animal-like.

As I wrote this piece, my friend mentioned that certain sugary foods hurt his teeth. Immediately, I think about my own teeth and I imagine (or feel, if you will) the sensations associated with sensitive teeth. What has…

View original post 326 more words