Editor David Oliver
Sharing a real life experience of an autism patient.
I am autistic. Two of my five brothers are autistic. My dad is autistic.
My dad understands emotions and doesn’t care. That’s the narcissism (he’s VERY proud of his narcissistic personality disorder).
My older autistic brother spent three nights worried about, and in near constant contact with a person he’d never even met because they were feeling suicidal. He worked with kids for three years and would be an anxious wreck over them if they were being too hard on themselves. He doesn’t express it well, but when he’s at home (we’re roomies) he deflates. He has room to decompress. He can’t express what he feels when others are hurt, or excited, or angry. But he has more empathy than practically anyone I know.
I work at a crisis line. Empathy is NECESSARY for my job.
My youngest brother just loves to make people happy and sometimes seems to feel personally responsible when others are sad. We’re trying to teach him that it’s not the case.
Autism affects how we express things, and the extent that we’re able to do so. Imagine being taken off-guard by people’s emotions all the time and trying to readjust what you’re going to say. Sometimes we say the wrong thing because we weren’t expecting what’s going on. It’s not a lack of empathy, it’s a lack of time to process.