My guest post, entitled “The Hurt Vehicle: One Boy’s Empathy,” went live today at the blog “Autism and Empathy.” Please do head over and check it out. I wrote it specifically for that blog, so it won’t be appearing here.
The owner of the blog, Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg, is always looking for more submissions, so perhaps consider submitting your own posts too. The submission guidelines are on the side bar of her site.
The questions surrounding autism and empathy, continue to be complex and highly emotional; with issues of empathy closely tied to people’s notions (and ideals) of humanity. Coincidentally, a reply by Simon Baron-Cohen to Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg, on issues of empathy, was recently published on the Autism Blogs Directory main page. It is very thought-provoking and has attracted many comments; do head over if you’d like to get a better feel and overview of the broader debate.
I wrote an article titled “Autism and Empathy, the Fixers and the Huggers” for the autisticsaware.wordpress blog, which challenges the perspective of Dr. Jacob A. Burack . He concludes from the research, “thus, little empathy in the form of personal distress, prosocial behaviors, or even an attention to the other was found in these young children with autism”. Since the majority of the population is ‘normally’ developed, it is it therefore a social norm to hug another person, as the psychological preference to display empathy. However, let us give credit to the fixers in society who wanted to improve the lives of the world, and invented all the goodies which we rely on today. Where would we be today without the personal computer, the iPods, the light-bulb, and all the beautiful art and music that we cherish today?