Rosalie and Empathy

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Rosalie isn’t the most empathetic child in the world.  Mostly because it doesn’t even occur to her that other people feel differently than she does.  That’s a classic trait of Autism.  But empathy can be learned:  ok, not empathy per se, but an approximation of it!

So yesterday morning as we were all eating breakfast, Rosalie thought it would be funny to try to trip Daniel as he was walking past with a cup of water in his hands.  She thought it was hysterical.  Daniel?  Not so much.

So after a short time out in her room while everyone else was finishing up their breakfast, I talked to Rosalie about her behavior.  Because she hates getting her clothing wet, I started out by asking if she liked getting her shirt wet.  When she said no, I asked her if she liked it when people made her fall down.  She said no again.  I related that to Daniel and how he didn’t like those things either.  We have this conversation, or a variation of it, almost daily.  The light bulb went on and as she said “I sorry Daniel”.  Then there was a pause, and she leaned over and patted his head like a dog and said “You a good boy!”

We all started laughing hysterically.  So much fun packed into such an innocent gesture!


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