Autism Tied to Less Empathy – And That May Be OK

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[Source: Psych Central]

New research shows that people with autistic traits show less empathy and reduced understanding of other people’s feelings.

While autism is often associated with social difficulties, there has been debate in recent years about whether those in the autistic community experience difficulties in processing emotion and the exact form this takes, according to researchers from the University of Bath and King’s College London in the UK.

The debate was centered on difficulties in measuring empathy, but also on the complicating factor that many autistic people also experience alexithymia, a condition known as “emotional blindness.” People with alexithymia face difficulties in understanding their own and others’ emotions, researchers said. Yet previous research did not make it clear whether autistic people without alexithymia faced the same challenge.

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