Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Learning empathy

Two nights ago, Michael had a very small rectal prolapse and Ian rushed him to A and E.  In my ASD rigidity I couldn't understand the number Ian wanted me to call as it was not one I'd come across before, and I wanted to call the local out of hours service.  Ian was too stressed to explain it was the new out of hours number (or something) but I called it, and in Michael went.  Poor lad was so terrified he threw up several times as he was screaming so much.  

Deborah was laughing at the noise he was making, and we were trying to explain Michael was sad, whilst keeping him calm, and supporting him.  Michael refused to leave the house without kissing Deborah good bye, and that's when she finally go it.  She was devastated once he left.

Luckily Michael was fine and continues to be so, although understandably reluctant to use the loo.

My big learning curve was that although I had always understood that people were worried when their children were admitted for day surgery (as I'd read Michael might be), I never really "got" the level of anxiety, until I experienced it myself.  Now I have that understanding I feel much more empathy for those in that situation.

Autism - empathy there, but learnt!

I'm lucky as I'm a Buddhist and try to practice to live out the principles of compassion and wisdom, so I'm in a mental stream to enhance compassion.  So useful for me as an ASD  person, there have been times before I started on the compassion training (and since, lets be honest!)  when I've lacked compassion simply for what I don't understand.  My experience this week was in empathy, but the basis of compassion helps me to apply my own feelings to understand those of others.  I'm quite shocked I'm still so slow in this, but that's just how it is.  At least I have the opportunity to learn, although i hope to learn quicker without mine or anyone's kids being ill next time!

No comments: