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Being ruled out of asd and pda due to empathy is this right?

(27 Posts)
greener2 Thu 30-Oct-14 20:19:56

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ouryve Thu 30-Oct-14 20:22:55

Well, DS1 refuses to say sorry, to the point where he beeps it out on tv, but he's quite capable to showing empathy. The empathy thing is definitely a myth because some people feel that their DC have too much of it and become incredibly upset about things affecting other people that most would take in their stride.

fairgame Thu 30-Oct-14 20:28:49

My DS usually says sorry after meltdowns. It's learnt behaviour. I have taught him that once we have calmed down we say sorry and then we can carry on with what we were doing. I've no idea if he really is sorry or whether it is just because he knows he has to say it. It's more a case of creeping back into my good books than genuine remorse i reckon because he will still blame someone/something else for making him mad in the first place.
He doesn't do empathy though.

PolterGhoul Thu 30-Oct-14 20:58:30

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StarlightMcKenzie Thu 30-Oct-14 21:05:32

Saying sorry is a behaviour that can be learned. Feeling empathy is an internal behaviour that can be difficult for kids with ASD to express

zzzzz Thu 30-Oct-14 21:21:07

Mine has TOO much empathy as described above, he doesn't have much emotional intelligence though so is very hair triggery.

Ie he sees someone is upset but won't see why or how to help.

He is amazingly good at spotting people beginning to get upset.

greener2 Thu 30-Oct-14 21:43:07

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Upandatem Fri 31-Oct-14 07:49:48

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KeepOnKeepingOn1 Fri 31-Oct-14 13:21:12

Perhaps the reason that 'empathy' is seen by some to be a big indicator is precisely because it tells us something about sensory, perception and processing abilities as well as ability to use higher level reasoning to put yourself in somebody else's shoes and modify your own reactive behaviour to that appropriate to a particular social context or social relationship. How you react modifies the context/relationship. So at one level genuinely apologising demonstrates empathic behaviour (on-going reciprocal relationship between self-other-self) but saying sorry does not.

DS1 is oversensitive if anyone says or does anything to him and holds a grudge over the slightest thing for years and will be almost as upset now about imagined slights from the past (difficulties with sensory issues etc). He can also get very upset and seem too empathic at times (The Incredible Journey was a big mistake shock.

From about age 10 I found DS1' lack of understanding of 'friendships' with peers a good indicator. There was one incident where a friend was being teased by another DC, DS1 laughed (could have been nerves, could have been that the teaser said something that he found amusing). Either way it was inappropriate and his friend physically attacked DS1 rather than the teaser. DS1 was utterly confused. He clearly did not understand how he would feel in a similar situation and how he would want his friend to react. It would not have occurred to him to say sorry.

Maybe because he is only 3, the profs are giving more weight to saying sorry because there is little else to go on beyond actual behaviour. What alternative path are they thinking of putting him on and how would it differ in terms of support that would be available?

It is worth remembering that support should be need/behaviour led rather than diagnosis-led. DS2(8) has been vacillating between ADHD and ASD for over 2 years now since SALT (pt for the last 5 years) referred him to paed. I can understand reluctance to diagnose a life-long disability if not sure, but in reality this does affect the amount and type of support that he is entitled to as ASD outreach services require a firm diagnosis.

zzzzz Fri 31-Oct-14 14:14:57

I don't think PDA is anything to do with lack of empathy??

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Fri 31-Oct-14 15:55:42

I think some believe that demand avoidance is a feature of ASD and so PDA is a spectrum condition where the demand avoidance is the most noticeable feature so profs still expect to see the ASD triad of impairments, even if 'mild' in comparison. But I may be confused blush

PolterGhoul Fri 31-Oct-14 16:09:55

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SquishSquasherHellHounds Fri 31-Oct-14 16:19:52

Ds says sorry sometimes, but I think this is learned rather than genuine.
Half the time he doesn't seem to remember being violent, if we bring it up he seems surprised and is also confused when he sees things that he's broken mid- meltdown, so he won't apologise because he says it wasn't him that did it.
He does feel empathy though, but more towards animals than people.
Ds meets all the PDA criteria except speech delay.

My goodness, this all sounds like DS1. We couldn't get a diagnosis because although he has a lot of ASD traits, he doesn't have enough of them.

He does say sorry, but agree that is learned.

zzzzz Fri 31-Oct-14 17:29:30

I'm not sure PDA is a good dx. I am right on board with DA as an effect of anxiety though.

greener2 Fri 31-Oct-14 20:30:55

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Mollyweasley Fri 31-Oct-14 20:40:03

Both DS and I have a diagnosis of asperger syndrome and we both have empathy. Sometimes we may appear to lack empathy but only because of our processing difference.if we do realise that we have shown a lack of empathy we will be extremely sorry sometimes for days, and we will apologise more than once, and do all we can to make it better.The diagnosis criteria has nothing to do with empathy and all to do with the triad of impairment.

Mollyweasley Fri 31-Oct-14 20:45:03

I should have added that we feel truly sorry and do not apologise because we have learned that we have to do it.

greener2 Fri 31-Oct-14 20:47:51

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Upandatem Fri 31-Oct-14 20:59:46

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Mollyweasley Fri 31-Oct-14 21:27:34

greener2 who is assessing your children at the moment? Is it a ed psychologist or paediatrician? I think that you can ask for a secondary referral ( but I am no expert our diagnosis are private) I would ask for either the Lorna Wing Centre or GOSH.Girls (but I don't think it is exclusive of girls!) can especially feel a lot of empathy with some reporting that they can feel the atmosphere of a room for example. The problem is that they might not always show their emotional reaction ( to me this is a communication issue). Also meant to add that some people can present as ASD with demand avoidance trait.

greener2 Sun 02-Nov-14 11:50:43

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greener2 Sun 02-Nov-14 12:45:05

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Mollyweasley Sun 02-Nov-14 16:19:29

ADD and ASD share a lot of symptoms, has anybody mention this before?

greener2 Sun 02-Nov-14 16:51:19

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