What if the complexities of autism extended further than we originally thought? What if the roadblocks and challenges that come with autism could help bridge a connection between the autistic world and the non-autistic world? This article will discuss the possibility that autistic children may not be just a different interpretation of the same world, but instead, be an entirely unique form of empathy that has the potential to help us better understand and appreciate one another.
1. Examining Autistic People Through the Lens of Empathy
Seeing autistic people from an empathetic viewpoint can drastically change the way we approach and understand them. Some of the most fundamental aspects of understanding someone’s experience is through an open and compassionate lens.
What does this look like practically?
- Putting yourself in their shoes: Try to imagine the kinds of difficulties and challenges people with autism are facing, and the struggles that come with different circumstances in life.
- Staying aware and open-minded: Let go of any preconceived notions or biases. Autistic people can be greatly misunderstood; having a broader perspective can help lessen the stigma that is associated with autism.
- Making accommodations: Every autistic person is unique, and each one’s needs vary. Be accommodating and adjusting, in order to provide the best possible environment for autistic people to thrive in.
A little bit of empathy and understanding can go a long way. Seeing autistic people through an empathetic lens can lead to a more supportive and accepting society, where individuals with autism feel heard, seen, and supported.
2. Unlocking the Power of Autistic Kids as Empaths
Autistic kids are often thought of as being removed from their peers, but the truth is that they may have a deeper understanding of emotions than we assume. Many have an amazing capacity for empathy that can strengthen relationships, allowing them to connect on an emotional level with family, friends, and peers in incredibly meaningful ways.
To unlock this powerful potential for empathy, autistic kids need to be nurtured, accepted, and allowed to express their condition in ways that are meaningful for them. This could include exercises that involve identifying facial expressions and emotions, feeling reflected sense of pride and accomplishment when these are identified accurately and praised, or the ability to listen carefully and deeply when others are talking. In addition, creating space and moments of vulnerability where they can express their own feelings in a safe environment helps to enable this empathy superpower and invites others to respond to them in kind.
- Nurturing: helping kids identify facial expressions and emotions, praising accuracy, and feeling reflected sense of pride.
- Acceptance: validating their condition and allowing them to express it in meaningful ways.
- Vulnerability: creating safe space and moments to express feelings.
3. On the Perks & Possibilities of Autistic Kids as Empaths
Autistic kids have been found to have a heightened awareness of the world around them, which can make them exceptionally empathetic. While this may be seen as a disadvantage due to the strain it can put on their senses, having an understanding of other people’s feelings can also be an advantageous trait.
As said, autistic kids are generally more sensitive to their surroundings and can pick up on subtle nuances that those with neurotypical brains may not. This means that they can develop strong insight into how others feel and think, allowing them to empathise with others both effectively and naturally. Even young autistic kids are able to display extraordinary levels of empathy – in powerful and moving ways. Their heightened awareness can open them up to other people’s needs in ways that others may not be aware of.
The possibility of being able to understand and empathise with others increases the chances of forming meaningful connections with people. Furthermore, the ability to be understanding of others can be beneficial in the workplace, where many roles call for strong interpersonal skills. With open-mindedness and an awareness of their capabilities, Autistic kids can take advantage of their empathetic traits to enjoy a wide range of opportunities.
- Autistic kids have a heightened awareness of the world around them
- They can display extraordinary levels of empathy, even when young
- Empathy can open up opportunities for meaningful connections and professional success
4. Seeding a New Paradigm in Understanding Autism
In recent years, we’ve seen exponential progress in our understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Rather than treating it as a hopelessly complex and isolated phenomenon, the medical community is finding that there is a much broader context within which to view ASD. These findings are slowly pushing the boundaries of modern medicine, creating a shift in our attitude towards this condition and its potential to be treated.
One of the most innovative developments in the field of ASD has been the idea of ‘seeding’ a new paradigm. This involves introducing therapeutic solutions which focus on whole-of-body care – rather than just looking at the physical or behavioural aspects alone. Other approaches such as increased focus on lifestyle areas like nutrition, exercise and sleep patterns, have proved to be highly beneficial to treating ASD symptoms. By seeding a new approach to caring for those with ASD, we are giving them the best chance to lead more fulfilling lives in the future.
- Whole-of-body care
- Nutritional therapy
- Sleep hygiene
For those of us who may not fully comprehend the full degree of emotion exhibited by autistic children, it can be difficult to understand – if not frightening. However, if we are to accept the idea that autistic children are possibly acting as empaths in order to better process their stimulation, then we have a real opportunity to empower these children with the understanding that their identity is not only valid, but even special and unique.
GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings