13 Autism Myths Everyone Needs to Stop Believing
Myth: Individuals with autism are uncaring and selfish
Just like the myth that people with autism don’t have or can’t express emotions, this myth falsely accuses them of not having or expressing emotions toward others. There are actually two very important characteristics of those with autism that debunk this myth entirely: their struggle to see things from another perspective due to impairment in abstract thinking, and their ability to feel things so deeply that it proves difficult, or impossible, to process all the emotion.
Dr. Hagerty provides insight: “Autistic individuals may come across as uncaring and selfish and they do struggle with seeing another person’s perspective, but they are not psychopaths. In fact, they are known to have an innate sense of justice, which is a deeper and more abiding marker of empathy than, say, contagious yawning.” In contrast, those with high-functioning forms of autism can sense and feel the emotions of others so strongly that they struggle to cope with those feelings. Autistic individuals are far from selfish and uncaring, but they often lack the ability to show that they care in the ways their typically developing peers would expect.