This afternoon, as two wee lads sobbed dramatically because I’d made them come inside for a break, Wonder Boy got right up close to me. He wrapped his arms around me and pressed his cheek to mine. This boy, who up until recently was non-verbal, repeated the phrase “No angry, no angry” as he squeezed his cheek against mine. These young boys of mine had elevated my tension level because they were tense and upset. I didn’t realize how much until he said that to me.
To say that autistic people don’t feel the emotions of others is, well, bull$hit. Sorry, but really I’m not sorry. Because the simple and undeniable truth is that they can, in many cases, feel all the feelings.
This has always been one of my particular skills as well, as I feed off of others’ anxiety, chaos, anger, sadness. Friends, coworkers, strangers, characters in movies.
It. Is. HELL.
But… maybe not. Maybe that’s the thing that we need to tap into more often. Perhaps knowing what someone’s feelings are would help more people relate to others.
Perhaps one of the things that we need to approach differently about autism is that there isn’t anything wrong with someone who is autistic. What if, in fact, everything is right about autism and it’s the neurotypical community that has it wrong?