Experts will tell you that children with autism struggle socially. Many will also tell you that people with autism lack empathy and compassion. Some will even tell you that autists won’t or can’t learn to care for others as their brains simply aren’t wired that way.
I beg to differ. Conversations with other parents of children with autism have revealed to me that these children who are sometimes referred to as unfeeling creatures of habit, are actually quite loving individuals. In fact, their emotions are very strong and their run loves deep.
Case in point: We’ve been battling the latest round of whatever crud is going around here lately – the one that involves the head, the sinuses, the lungs, the stomach, the whole shebang. Chris doesn’t often get sick and when he does, he typically motors right through it, tackling his many responsibilities barely even slowing down. This time is different. This time, he was down – down as in “not moving for days” down. Yet, Ben was the first, and only child, on day two of this battle to come and see his dad upon returning home, asking him, “Are you feeling any better, Daddy?”
I didn’t tell him to do this. No one modeled it for him because the rest of us were all still making our way in the door. Ben did this on his own, completely lacking of any suggestion from anyone at all. He did it because he cares and he wanted to know if his dad was feeling better.
So to those who say people with autism have no empathy and don’t genuinely care for those around them, I say, “Hooey!” They can keep their scientific degrees on this one, I have all the proof I need right here in my compassionate, caring little boy.