A low cost International Support Group facilitated by Dr. Marshack. This Teleconference is only for Members of the private membership group, ASPERGER SYNDROME & RELATIONSHIPS: Life with an Adult on the Autism Spectrum. Click here for membership details and to register for this call.
Topic: TELECONFERENCE: Empathy “Asperger” Style
Thursday July 18, 2019, 10:00-11:30 am PDT
Many of our “Aspies” believe they have empathy for a variety of reasons. Sometimes we think so too. By the very definition of Autism Spectrum Disorder, “Aspies” do not have empathy. They may be sensitive. They may be kind. They may care about our welfare. But empathy is more than that.
Empathy involves a reciprocal interaction. It is an ongoing process of communication that makes you feel understood. If you are able to understand your feelings and thoughts and speak about them to another person — and you speak to them in words they understand — and you recognize the thoughts and feelings of the other person — and they are able to tell you what their thoughts and feelings are in your language — and you both work toward a mutual understanding and caring — this is empathy.
For example, an orchestra is more than notes on a page. It is composed of the synergy of the composer/score, the musicians, the conductor, the concert hall and the audience. You may love to listen to recorded concerts, but the thrill of the live experience is greater. Empathy is like this.
Empathy for our “Aspies” is caring, compassion, love, kindness, etc. but it is often out of step with empathy. This disconnect with the empathic process is what feels jarring to NTs. Speaking in a loud tone, or interrupting us at an inopportune moment, or failing to tells us what’s on the “Aspie’s,” mind — are all examples of Empathy – “Asperger” Style.
This conference call is a chance to get more clarification on this important topic. More importantly we will also talk about how to communicate with our “Aspies” when they really don’t use empathy at all.