Sunday, February 20, 2011

More thoughts on Autism and Compassion

As I've blogged recently, Bil has found himself in a caretaking role for his mother while she recovers from an injury.  He does help if she directs him to, but the question I've wondered about lately is - how much compassion can a person with autism be expected to show?

This recent blog post by Donna Williams, a woman "down under" with autism, gives us an intriguing clue.  As does the fact that one of the links on her blog is to The Hunger Site, one of several related "click and give" websites.  I would dare say that Ms. Williams not only cares about the homeless, but has come up with some intriguing "outside the box" thinking regarding how everyday people can help them.

So what does this have to do with Bil?

Because Bil's autism causes him to have a lot of difficulty communicating with neurotypical (non-autistic) people, it can be so hard to judge how Bil thinks, and how he perceives the world.  Donna Williams provides a small window into that world, but so much about Bil remains a mystery, even as he tries to help his mother the best he can.  Or so we hope.  Does he feel trapped?  Does he understand her situation?  Is he scared?  Or is he oblivious, on many levels, to what is happening to his mother as she ages?

We will be down there again next month, to help out some more, and to observe.

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