I am often asked if it’s true autistics are incapable of empathy, affection, love, compassion, etc.. I try not to let it get to me, knowing there are so many people out there who believe the myths and the misinformation regarding autism. I try to fight these notions by encouraging and educating those I can.
One of the most powerful tools I have at my disposal is experience.
This morning I spoke to my son, he was feeling sad, he and his grandma had come across a dying bird in the back yard. He posted this status update to his Facebook profile this evening ~
He was dying, my Grandma found him in the backyard, we picked him up and held him as he passed, I stroked his head making sure his final moments were of love and not of fear. We put him in a box with some tissues and some socks so he could spend his final moments in comfort, it was sad we couldn’t save him and we didn’t have him for more than a few minutes but I feel better for having been there for him. I made a difference in its life, albeit in the end of it.
Yes. Autistic people can feel empathy, deeply. They may not always be capable of expressing their feelings, every individual with autism is unique, they have strengths and weaknesses just like everyone else. There are many people not faced with the challenges my son faces who are incapable of the level of empathy my son felt today, holding that little bird. He is a good, good man.
Crystal R. Cook