On The Ontological Status Of Autism And Double Empathy


The double empathy/cross-neurological hypotheses of Milton and Beardon can be summarised as follows:
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(1) non-autistic people appear to have as much difficulty in understanding autistic minds as vice versa;
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(2) autistic people often develop a greater understanding of society than non-autistic people develop of autism; and
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(3) autistic people have a similar ability to empathise with other autistic people as non-autistic people have with their peers.
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Milton does not suggest that non-autistic people are less capable of developing an understanding of autism than vice versa; as he points out, it is simply that autistic people have no choice but to try to develop an understanding of society if they are to ‘survive and potentially thrive’ whereas no such imperative applies in the opposite direction (Milton 2012).
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  • but I feel uncomfortable with categorisation of ND and NT and not just people......said the self diagnosed freak on the NAS forum!

    Yep, me too. Diagnosis or not, think I still have plenty in common with "NT" people - two ears, ten fingers... Well, other stuff too. I'm also not keen to define myself via a diagnosis, I'd rather tell people what I'm good at and where they need to help me a bit or be a bit more patient. The only problem is that they then say that's just normal and everybody needs/is like that, until it actually comes to the situation and suddenly it's not seen as quite so normal anymore.

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