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I know of two people with Aspergers Syndrome. One of them, a woman around 19 or 20, has been diagnosed by multiple psychologists. The other claims he has aspergers, but has never gotten tested. Contrary to typical symptoms, and descriptions from other aspergians on the internet I've read, none of them display a lack of empathy, in fact; the undiagnosed one has heightened empathy, and both show signs of strong introverted feeling.

I am not claiming that the professionally diagnosed girl is incorrectly diagnosed, but I am curious as to why they may demonstrate this atypical behavior. Anyone care to share? Thanks for reading :)

Also, I must apologize for my misspelling of "Asperger" in the title.
 

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I have Asperger's and am one of the most empathetic people I know.

The lack of empathy thing is a stereotype - ASD is a lot more complex than that.
 

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I have Asperger's and am one of the most empathetic people I know.

The lack of empathy thing is a stereotype - ASD is a lot more complex than that.

Perhaps the OP is confusing Asperger's with something further along the autism spectrum? A common assumption of neuro-typicals.
 
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wikipedia said:
A lack of demonstrated empathy
This doesn't mean that people with Asperger's don't have empathy, they are just not good at showing it or might show it in unusual ways.

There was this video of a boy with ASD who said that as a kid he used to scream terribly whenever he saw people or animals being mistreated.
Nobody knew what made him scream. Finally, they found out that he felt so much sympathy for the victims that he was overwhelmed by pain. What was ASD specific about it was that he did not understand that the victims also felt pain and that his pain was a sympathetic reaction to their feelings. When it was explained to him, he tried to understand it and to keep it in mind. I wish I could remember his name or the title of the video.
 

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I've seen aspies on YouTube videos and they hardly seem different from most people, save a monotonous voice or anything they describe themselves as. Although there are some where it's more obvious that they are frozen and unskilled socially. I think there are different degrees to this, the later group of people I mentioned seemed to me as more obviously inflicted with the disorder and the former seem more arguable in terms of having such a condition. Also the get to the point, it's not a lack of empathy, but a lack of empathy really in practice or displayed.
 

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@Snakecharmer I see you are an INTP? Could you explain the difference between an INTP with and without ASD?

I'm only asking this because
a) there are millions of threads in the INTJ forum where people claim that INTX in general are the most likely type to have ASD or that most Asperger's are INTX
b) I work with both neurotypical children and children with ASD

I've got an obsessive interest in stereotypes associated with ASD, particularly the idea that all people with an ASD are incredibly logical or INTX types.

The kids with Asperger's who I have worked with are difficult to type, but one of them strikes me as ENTP-ish (male). Another one might actually be an ENFP or other EFXX type (male). Number three does seem to have a lot of Ti, but he's hard to type because he doesn't talk much.

Then I used to work with a low-ability girl who didn't have a diagnosis for autism, although she was definitely autistic. She was most definitely an ISFJ.
Among the low-ability kids with autism we've got a boy who is as extrovert as anyone can be and some girls who are very clearly F.

On the other hand, I work with an INTP who's clearly not on the ASD spectrum, yet an ESFP teacher thinks he must have some kind of condition.
 

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I know of two people with Aspergers Syndrome. One of them, a woman around 19 or 20, has been diagnosed by multiple psychologists. The other claims he has aspergers, but has never gotten tested. Contrary to typical symptoms, and descriptions from other aspergians on the internet I've read, none of them display a lack of empathy, in fact; the undiagnosed one has heightened empathy, and both show signs of strong introverted feeling.

I am not claiming that the professionally diagnosed girl is incorrectly diagnosed, but I am curious as to why they may demonstrate this atypical behavior. Anyone care to share? Thanks for reading :)

Also, I must apologize for my misspelling of "Asperger" in the title.
The idea of lacking empathy is really just an oversimplified stereotype. Autism is way more complicated than that, and encompasses much more than just the social symptoms.

The stereotype comes from the fact that autistic people are less likely to express empathy or sympathy in 'neurotypical' ways. For example, some autistic people have trouble interpreting body language and so may not realise when someone is upset. But that doesn't mean they don't *care* that someone is upset.
 

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@Snakecharmer I see you are an INTP? Could you explain the difference between an INTP with and without ASD?

I'm only asking this because
a) there are millions of threads in the INTJ forum where people claim that INTX in general are the most likely type to have ASD or that most Asperger's are INTX
b) I work with both neurotypical children and children with ASD

I've got an obsessive interest in stereotypes associated with ASD, particularly the idea that all people with an ASD are incredibly logical or INTX types.

The kids with Asperger's who I have worked with are difficult to type, but one of them strikes me as ENTP-ish (male). Another one might actually be an ENFP or other EFXX type (male). Number three does seem to have a lot of Ti, but he's hard to type because he doesn't talk much.

Then I used to work with a low-ability girl who didn't have a diagnosis for autism, although she was definitely autistic. She was most definitely an ISFJ.
Among the low-ability kids with autism we've got a boy who is as extrovert as anyone can be and some girls who are very clearly F.

On the other hand, I work with an INTP who's clearly not on the ASD spectrum, yet an ESFP teacher thinks he must have some kind of condition.
(just butting in here with my own input)

I think of them as being on two different 'levels' of the way someone's mind works. Autism affects the fundamental wiring of the brain, which is why it has such pervasive effects on things ranging from the senses, social things, general ways of processing the world. Whereas MBTI types are ways of interpreting things and making decisions, which are a lot more 'surface' traits. So superficially there might be some symptoms of autism (e.g. avoidance of overwhelming social situations) that look similar to certain MBTI traits (e.g. introversion). But really they have a very different underlying cause/source. So autistic people can really be any MBTI type. And I think the idea that certain types (like INTXs) are more likely to be autistic just comes from stereotypes - when there are lots of autistic people that don't fit those stereotypes.
 

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I've heard it said that people on the spectrum are difficult to type via MBTI, and some say they can't be typed at all.

I don't know enough people on the spectrum personally to have an informed opinion. Personally, I relate to INTP the most and it's the result I always get on assessments. I do know one Aspie who is close to me in age and he claims to be INTJ, but he seems far more talkative and outgoing to fit that type in my experience (my father and sister are INTJs).

I think INTP shares a lot of traits that are stereotypically ASD.
 

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I have asd and I have strong empathy detection but I compare it to an animals instinct. I can feel the pain. I cannot tell what the emotion is, I cannot even tell my own emotions without a feelings wheel to look at and analyze.

As my friends like to say my theory of mind sucks, but I can tell when they are out of sorts. Just not "why"

As far as "expressing emotion or empathy" It is a bitch.

I have a system. If someone says hi..slowly smile and do not scowl at them for interrupting you, overloading and giving your brain a blue screen of death it hurts their feelings. If someone is sad or upset, hug them it will calm them down so they can tell you what the hell is wrong and you can solve their puzzle.

Expressing my own.. I am learning I have very loving patient family and friends. But I still get stuck, need my wheel, sometimes stutter horribly or go mute trying to get it out.

Expressing some for them, I think of them as animals. Because I have a menagerie of wild things I commune with all day I can communicate with better than people. Its easier to communicate with people as animals, they aren't capable of cruelty, judging or awkwardness then you can just nurture them without worrying about a proper way to say things or accidentally offending.
 

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I think my empathy comes from a logical place...I KNOW that people hurt when they experience loss, for example...but I don't FEEL it for them, if that makes sense.

Well, wait. I don't know how to explain this.

I'll come back to it later. Have to think on it.
 
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Fantastic piece on aspies and empathy:

The Empathy Conundrum | Musings of an Aspie

Will read this tomorrow. Have just skimmed over the first few paragraphs and I'm glad someone is criticizing Simon Baron-Cohen. I don't know what Simon Baron-Cohen has to say about "lack of empathy" but I find his whole way of working extremely sloppy and dubious.
 

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I think my empathy comes from a logical place...I KNOW that people hurt when they experience loss, for example...but I don't FEEL it for them, if that makes sense.

Well, wait. I don't know how to explain this.

I'll come back to it later. Have to think on it.

I think it feels like a disruption of energy. I don't cry with them but I can feel the "tension"
 

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In a school in my town, kids were claiming some disorder or another and acting out - They were normal other than being attention seeking, naïve and insensitive. So if anyone self-diagnoses, I disregard that. I worked in mental health long enough to see the difference. I was qualified by licensure to make diagnoses, but chose not to: diagnoses are not the presenting problem. The disfunctions in the client's life is.

A psychologist I worked with once summed it up that there were three treatment categories. One called for medication, the second , for education and enablement, and the third, for a kick in the ass, and diagnoses are necessary to get the third party payer to let go of the cash. A bit of sarcasm directed by toward a newbie staff member who was demonstrating her superior knowledge, He was once asked what treatment modality we used - he replied, "When we fuck over people's lives, we try to do it in their best interest."

To stigmatize someone with a one size fits description all is demeaning. For someone to claim a disorder to gain attention is disgusting.
Person - centered therapy is just what it says - take the client where he/she is and work forward. As a side note, MBTI was never used in therapy in any facility where I worked: Neither was the enneagram, astrology, nor the Ouija board.
 

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Honestly part of the problem of autism and empathy is frames of reference; professionals that 'read much literature' and suddenly know things, society that still likes to be spoon fed information into digestible chunks and finally those with autism that are at risk of being molded to consider themselves a certain way without being asked or worked with to challenge how they express empathy and emotions.
 

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In a school in my town, kids were claiming some disorder or another and acting out - They were normal other than being attention seeking, naïve and insensitive. So if anyone self-diagnoses, I disregard that. I worked in mental health long enough to see the difference. I was qualified by licensure to make diagnoses, but chose not to: diagnoses are not the presenting problem. The disfunctions in the client's life is.

A psychologist I worked with once summed it up that there were three treatment categories. One called for medication, the second , for education and enablement, and the third, for a kick in the ass, and diagnoses are necessary to get the third party payer to let go of the cash. A bit of sarcasm directed by toward a newbie staff member who was demonstrating her superior knowledge, He was once asked what treatment modality we used - he replied, "When we fuck over people's lives, we try to do it in their best interest."

To stigmatize someone with a one size fits description all is demeaning. For someone to claim a disorder to gain attention is disgusting.
Person - centered therapy is just what it says - take the client where he/she is and work forward. As a side note, MBTI was never used in therapy in any facility where I worked: Neither was the enneagram, astrology, nor the Ouija board.
Self-diagnosis is not inherently invalid. Someone claiming to have a disorder as an excuse for bad behaviour is NOT self-diagnosis - it's just lying and manipulation. But informed self-diagnosis, where a person thoughtfully considers their experiences in the light of symptoms and comes to a conclusion - is perfectly acceptable.

I'd also argue that diagnosis can be extremely valuable for some people (either self-diagnosis or professional). If someone has had problems for their whole life and never understood them, then finally finding out the reason behind them all can be very validating.
 

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Self-diagnosis is not inherently invalid. Someone claiming to have a disorder as an excuse for bad behaviour is NOT self-diagnosis - it's just lying and manipulation. But informed self-diagnosis, where a person thoughtfully considers their experiences in the light of symptoms and comes to a conclusion - is perfectly acceptable.

I'd also argue that diagnosis can be extremely valuable for some people (either self-diagnosis or professional). If someone has had problems for their whole life and never understood them, then finally finding out the reason behind them all can be very validating.
I agree - if self diagnoses in done honestly. And when I see self - diagnoses, I have no way to know if it is thought and thorough or just hype. Remember, I am looking as a clinician, and I have seen far to many diagnoses that harmed the client eve those by licensed clinicians.
One practice that is unprofessional, abhorrent and illegal, is coding for a diagnoses that third party will pay for. The insurance companies never discard data, and that will follow a person all his life.
 

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I think the main quality of asberger's is a lack of social mirroring/ problems with communication. Correct me if I'm wrong, Aspbergians. It isn't that they don't feel empathy, though that may be harder for them, because it's hard to feel empathy when you can't even tell what other people are expressing. If you can't read them, how can you know what to empathize with? I've read books by John Robison and Temple Grandin and they seem to have trouble without social relations but still have this well if innocent empathy like a child.
 

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I have had a few friends with Asperger's and their social skills were varied. Some had extreme empathy, some had healthier empathy levels and sadly one had no empathy whatsoever because he could never seem to understand how or why doing certain things can be hurtful. I doubt how much empathy a person has is a reliable indicator for Asperger's because they are each so different.
 
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