Executive Brief: You can be Autistic and Empathic at the same time.
Maybe the following is not news to you, in which case... Yaaay! That's a truly terrific thing. I mean, maybe the word is getting out more widely than I've noticed, which would be heartening, and I'd be glad to hear it.
That said, there are still (wonderful and compassionate) folks expressing the belief that a person’s warm emotionality is inconsistent with being Autistic, so... please bear with me here, as that needs to stop.
I have found that this article is (a) written in a pretty accessible style while (b) putting the lie to the commonly held notion that autism and empathy are antithetical.
And then this article is the best that I have found (so far) for rounding up an array of relevant links to the related research. That research is still in progress, of course; therefore, some of the article’s broad, collective generalizations are still missing the mark.
This flawed attribution (about a hallmarked, definitively deficient theory of mind, and so on) has caused Autistics no end of grief, and has collaterally harmed the people with whom they mutually share lives (i.e., their Adjacents).
Clearly, I am feeling this concern for my students (and their families) on a deeply personal level.
Among many other things, this mistake delayed (by a mere 60 years) my unequivocal self-identification as Autistic, which means that I have been ignorantly visiting damage on my loved ones for a very long time (not to mention on those among you about whom I don’t care nearly as much... but still).
All in all, maybe we could just not do this to anybody anymore.