My Boy Has Empathy — Lots of It!

by Sharon

WOW. That’s all I can say to describe this weekend. Just WOW. We had a few “harps playing, angels singing” special moments, and a few meltdowns, too, but hey, after the BIGGIE I am going to tell you about, who cares about the meltdowns?

My boy is growing, people. Every day I see him maturing, and it makes my heart fill to the brim with joy and pride. It fills my soul with hope, which definitely makes the meltdowns easier!

Those who read my Facebook page already know about the time that Jay said to the little boy in our neighborhood that he was sorry about the loss of his pet — a pet, by the way, that Jay did not care for. Guess what? We had another of those types of moments on Friday. And it was all Jay’s doing, with no prompting from me!

The school had elections for student government. Of course, as at most schools, it was a popularity contest. One of the little girls, the same girl whom Jay had pushed at the beginning of last year — an incident that prompted the whole MAMA BEAR post — ran for president and, well, she lost. On Friday, I was standing in the hall waiting for Gracie, my little social butterfly who has to say goodbye to everyone as though she will never see them again, and I saw Jay approach this girl and say to her, I’m sorry you lost. You ran a good race. I really liked your poster!” The girl beamed and thanked him for his kind words.

Jay walked over to me, and I asked him whether he had voted for her. He told me he had not. “But she doesn’t  need to know that,” he said. “It might hurt her feelings!”

Did you just read that? My boy, Honest Abe himself, held back details so that he would not hurt another child’s feelings. Huge! And he had enough empathy to go out of his way to try to make her feel better. Yes, my autistic Aspergian son, whom people say lacks empathy, showed more of it than some typical  folks do, well, ever! I had to excuse myself by saying I had to go to the bathroom, because I cried. I mean I seriously cried, folks.

I was so proud.

About the Author: Sharon is the mother of two children, the elder of whom has Asperger’s Syndrome. She is a freelancer who writes humor columns for Westchester Family Magazine in New York and for THRIVE Magazine in Dallas/ Fort Worth. This piece first appeared on her blog, Mama’s Turn Now, and is reprinted here by permission.

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One thought on “My Boy Has Empathy — Lots of It!

  1. Lisa Parker says:

    How wonderful! The truth is your son probably is extremely empathetic but has difficulty expressing it because he is overwhelmed by his emotions and doesn’t know what the right thing to say is–this is definitely the case with the Aspies in my family. No one can tell you that your son isn’t empathetic; if they try, recount this incident!

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