Sunday, June 1, 2014

Altruistic and Autistic- Coexisting and breaking stereotypes

I know there is a TON of stuff out there about how us autistics really do have empathy, and all that. I don't have a long windy argument to support that argument.

Instead, what I have is the photo below.

The worksheet that is pictured there is one that I filled out when I was in 4th grade. As I have mentioned before, I have a formal diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome, yet even as a young 10 year old child I held very strong values, and ethics about helping my neighbor.

I set the value of wanting to help others above fame, admiration, and power. This was not the outcome of sophisticated behavior, or social skills training. These things did not exist for me people like me back then. I wanted to help others, because that is who I am, and what I am naturally driven to do. I didn't need to be coached to have a strong need to treat others with kindness. I recognized their humanity as important, and I wanted to lift the well being of everyone up. Sometimes, my way of going about this may have needed tweaking, and others I might have missed the mark, but empathy was always there. I have always cared, and extended efforts to help others anytime I had the opportunity.

What examples do you have the support autism and altruism coexisting within the same person at the same time naturally?

Also, as a side talking point..... Do you think that we should have more worksheets like this one in school nowadays?  It's been about 25 yrs since this was filled out by my class. I wonder if these types of activities get kids thinking about values, and behaviors further supporting thinking about how they treat others. I haven't ever seen my kids bring home worksheets that support this type of thinking exercises.