2 Jul 2008

Aloof and lacking empathy?

The picture shows me wearing a happy expression, as well as a few hearts, a flower (I think it's a lilly like those in a vase on our table) and most endearingly of all, a flag from a railway signal box.

Duncan made it and handed it to me last night, entirely unprompted, after I'd been giving out to someone for something. I was at the time, being a bit of a grumpy mum. He told me he'd made a card.

You know those autistic children and their legendary "aloofness" and "lack of empathy". You know how often they're described as being "locked in their own little world".

Look at that picture and see the evidence, that those theories, are utter bollocks.


Socrates said...

I wonder if psychologists use "Empathy" in a narrow, technical sense. Or maybe they're just plain wrong...

Casdok said...

Arnt they just!!
A beautiful picture, bet your not a grumpy mum now!!

Sharon said...

Hi Socrates, nice to have you visiting! I'm finding out that there is so much that is said about autism and autistic people that is just plain wrong.

Isn't it nice Casdok? :)
And I most certainly am not grumpy now. Duncan has a great talent for cheering me up.

Ed said...

When someone has trouble seeing past their inaccurate, critical view that is a less than flattering evaluation of someone or a whole group of people, I would say that it is that evaluator that is lacking empathy, wouldn't you?

More happy wishes to you and your talented, happy family!

Sharon said...

Thanks Ed, and I absolutely agree with you. It shows a lack of empathy when some ways of being are said to be wrong, abnormal, or flawed. The people who think this way, fail to see just how hard many autistic people work to communicate and interact.

Anonymous said...

Their just jealous (those professionals) /LOL

(Peruses the last few posts...)
Haven't been by in a while, but looks like you have indeed been busy. And Ohmygosh, did I see a picture of Orac in his Dr Doom mask? (Just kidding!)

bullet said...

That is a great picture :D.

mumkeepingsane said...

Empathy came later for Patrick but it's definately there. Or maybe it was always there but he couldn't express it. I dunno, I've learned to accept that there are many things I will never know. I find psychologists aren't willing to see what's right in front of them.

What a sweet picture.

Club 166 said...

That is a great picture.


Sharon said...

Hi Anon. What Orac looks like is a mystery. Never shall we know his real identity.

But it's a cool cyberman mask, isn't it? Oh and all of us lot are very excited about the Doctor Who finale on Saturday. It's the only TV show I routinely watch these days.

Buller and Joe, thanks, I thought so too.
And I forgot to mention how Duncan almost always favours the Americanised spelling of "Mommy" when he writes the word, though he says it as "Mummy."

It's probably due to the online learn-to-read sites he uses, like Starfall.

Mumkeepingsane, I don't doubt that these complex human traits happen later for children like ours, or are, as you say, expressed differently.

It's a dangerous myth though. Empathy is a core human trait and when it's said so often and erroneously that a certain group lack it, it's not such a big leap to depict them as not fully human.