People with Autism Can Read Emotions, Feel Empathy

There is a fine line between autism and alexithymia—feeling emotions but being unable to identify them


There is a persistent stereotype that people with autism are individuals who lack empathy and cannot understand emotion. It’s true that many people with autism don’t show emotion in ways that people without the condition would recognize.

But the notion that people with autism generally lack empathy and cannot recognize feelings is wrong. Holding such a view can distort our perception of these individuals and possibly delay effective treatments


By Rebecca Brewer, Jennifer Murphy