What It Means To Be Highly Empathetic, And Autistic
Alaina Leary

If I may beg to differ, being able to read others emotions ain’t the same as empathy. And seems like we’ve heard all this before from autistic folks… essentially that they’re fine and any ‘complaints’ are because everyone else is f*cked up (which BTW, is pretty much the antithesis of ‘empathy’).

Autism, and Cognitive vs Affective Empathy
‘Theory of mind’ (ToM) deficits in autism and Asperger Syndrome: ToM is the ability to attribute mental states to others, to infer what someone else is thinking or feeling. It is one of the two major components of empathy, sometimes known as ‘cognitive empathy’. The other major component is known as ‘affective empathy’, or the drive to respond with an appropriate emotion to someone else’s mental states. Our work is showing that in Asperger Syndrome it is primarily cognitive empathy that is impaired, whilst affective empathy is intact. In classic autism, both components of empathy may be impaired.