For Anyone Who Thinks People With Autism Can’t Experience Empathy

You know what they say about those with autism lacking empathy? I’m here to tell you that just isn’t so.

Today, I walked my two sons to school to let my youngest’s teacher know I had to pick him up early. I also had to give money to my oldest’s teacher for a class Christmas Party. I was mentally prepping myself for a meeting later that day, where I’m fairly certain one of my oldest’s teachers was going to tell me all the ways he isn’t measuring up in class.

I was standing and chatting with a few of the ladies at the elementary school. As we were conversing, I noticed a little boy with what I ass/u/me was cerebral palsy. (I apologize for my lack of knowledge regarding this. Please, forgive me.)  I gave him a smile as he walked by and kept talking to the teachers. Suddenly, the special education teacher says to me, “Mama, be quiet, but come look at this.”  Here is what I saw:

The boy who I’d noticed walking had fallen in front of his classroom door. My oldest son and his fellow classmates were walking to their classroom. My son stopped and said, “Oh man, you fell. Can I help you up? It’s no big deal; we all fall down sometimes. Me? I fall down all the time.” He bent down and scooped the boy up under his arms and helped him up. He and his friends continued on their way to their classroom. He saw me, walked in and gave me a great big ol’ wet kiss on the lips and went on his merry way.

That, my friends, is empathy at its finest. It wasn’t the neurotypical kids who stopped. It was my boy — the one who doesn’t see anything wrong with being different. The one who loves animals, insects, reptiles and all of God’s creatures more than anyone else I know. The one who didn’t know that that is exactly what I needed today more than any other day. This, my friends, is my Christmas gift from my son, and it is perfect.

This post originally appeared on Autism in Our House.

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