Autistic People Lack Empathy — Except Not

by Jess

Have you ever heard it said that people with autism lack empathy?

Me too.

Did you believe it?

Me either.

Apparently, neither does Brooke.



While having lunch on Saturday afternoon, Katie’s toe had a nasty run in with a falling plate. While we debated the virtues of taking her to the emergency room for x-rays vs. doing exactly what the ER doc would do (taping the toe to its neighbor, elevating and icing it and giving her some Motrin for the ouch) Brooke quietly walked over to her and did this ^.

They stayed that way for a while, completely silent. Neither said a word to the other.

Brooke eventually got up and walked away. In so doing, she matter-of-factly stated, “I made Katie feel better.”


So shall we revisit?

Autistic people lack empathy?

Yeah, I didn’t think so.


All images are the exclusive property of Diary of a Mom and are protected under the United States and International Copyright laws.

The images may not be reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated without the written permission of Jess at Diary of a Mom.

© 2008 – 2011 Diary of a Mom.

About the Author: Jess can be found on Twitter @diaryofamom and on her blog, Diary of a Mom where she writes about life with her husband Luau* and their beautiful daughters — ten- year-old Katie*, an utterly fabulous typically a-typical rising fifth grader, and eight- year-old Brooke*, a loving, talented, hilarious rising third grader who has autism.

She also runs the Diary of a Mom Facebook page, a warm and supportive community of parents, friends, adults on the autism spectrum and some random people in her life who cared enough to hit ‘Like’ and probably now wonder what they got themselves into.

This piece first appeared on Jess’ blog and is reprinted here with permission.



2 thoughts on “Autistic People Lack Empathy — Except Not

  1. Luna says:

    So many times, it is assumed that something doesn’t exist just because it is not presented in a typical way. My boy is capable of empathy and compassion, too. Love this pic! Whether disproving theories or not, it’s just a great photo!

  2. My son with autism, now 30 years old, use to cry whenever he even HEARD anyone else crying. He can empathize with others, but he does laugh when anyone sneezes or coughs. 🙂

Comments are closed.