Katherine May Profile picture
Jun 26, 2018 7 tweets 1 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
I spoke to a young woman yesterday who didn't think she could be autistic because she experienced empathy. Once more for the back of the room: autistic people do not lack empathy.
The misapprehension comes - I think - because maybe we don't always express our empathy in ways that non-autistic people immediately recognise. But it's there, trust me. We're sometimes overwhelmed by it.
I think this imagined lack of empathy is often used to de-humanise us: we're not rounded people; we have something lacking. It's just plain wrong.
I can't express how stigmatising it is to be assumed to have no human feelings. It's a way of downgrading me as a person. It's an easy route to dismissing us.
And there's evidence of the damage: it's acting as a barrier to this woman exploring a diagnosis which could help her enormously.
The world would be a better place if we all recognised this:

How people appear to feel on the outside ≠ how they actually feel on the inside.
But then, I guess not everyone has had the privilege of expressing a minor worry, and then having the whole of #ActuallyAutistic twitter flooding you with unicorn gifs and socially-awkward love :)

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More from @_katherine_may_

May 16, 2018
Seeing as it's #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek - a brief thread on being a late-diagnosed autistic woman....
First of all, autism isn't a mental health condition. However, being autistic in a society that prizes 'normality' leads many of us to suffer from various mental health issues #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek
Many autistic people (and perhaps women especially) learn to conceal the outward signs of their autism (for example, compulsive physical movements and ways of communicating) in order to fit in. I certainly did #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek
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