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TheOutsider
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19 Aug 2022, 10:29 am

Does anyone have a good explanation or example of this? It's part of the diagnostic criteria, but I've never really understood what it means.



StrayCat81
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19 Aug 2022, 7:22 pm

TheOutsider wrote:
Does anyone have a good explanation or example of this? It's part of the diagnostic criteria, but I've never really understood what it means.

Socializing by talking? For example, the more we talk about useless stuff, the more I will despise you, because I do not have that thing. But with NT it's different, they will actually like you more the more you talk to them about nonsense, since it's actually fun for them



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19 Aug 2022, 7:30 pm

Reciprocity means back-and-forth.

It means being able to relate with people emotionally, in social situations.

That could be:

Reading their facial expressions and responding with your own (to match)
Mirroring people's emotions or behaviours in socially appropriate ways
Expressing (or accepting) verbal empathy in suitable ways
Sending out your own clear emotional signals so others will understand you
Fitting into social situations without looking or acting uncomfortable
Helping others to feel comfortable or emotionally safe in your presence



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19 Aug 2022, 7:50 pm

"Difficulties with reciprocity" is probably a more accurate term to use in the diagnostic criteria than "lack of empathy", because most people associate lacking empathy with heartless criminals. It's how NTs actually define lacking empathy so you can see why it stigmatizes autism so much.
Reciprocity sounds less misleading and might even help the general public see autism as something other than cold-hearted monsters capable of murder.

I don't think empathy should ever be brought up in the same sentence as autism again.


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IsabellaLinton
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19 Aug 2022, 7:56 pm

Empathy isn't in the DSM.

I think there's actually a vague reference to the word but it doesn't say we don't feel it.



TheOutsider
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19 Aug 2022, 10:05 pm

StrayCat81 wrote:
TheOutsider wrote:
Does anyone have a good explanation or example of this? It's part of the diagnostic criteria, but I've never really understood what it means.

Socializing by talking? For example, the more we talk about useless stuff, the more I will despise you, because I do not have that thing. But with NT it's different, they will actually like you more the more you talk to them about nonsense, since it's actually fun for them


So, am I to understand the essence of social-emotional reciprocity as "small talk"? What about asking people a lot of questions during a conversation? Or having difficulty extending conversations and/or elaborating on topics?

It's interesting... I wonder if having difficulty initiating social interactions qualifies as "social-emotional reciprocity"?



Last edited by TheOutsider on 19 Aug 2022, 10:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.

kraftiekortie
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19 Aug 2022, 10:11 pm

It means identifying with what another person says to you, and expressing an understanding of the person’s situation.

“Listening” to another person.



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20 Aug 2022, 12:59 am

All the meet-ups I have attended for people in the autism spectrum I have observed that
emotional reciprocity is well within our ability, particularly on a one to one basis and often expressed with great intensity.



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20 Aug 2022, 11:26 am

I would say a difference in social-emotional reciprocity.

My ASD BFF and I talk about this a lot. We reciprocate with each other just fine (exchange relevant information and ideas, stare or look around), but somehow neither of us meet the NT standards (darn, forgot to say "hello" again and I'm staring). This goes for my ASD group also. Somebody says "I'm leaving b/c [specific cause]" and it's refreshing - we all get it. Many NTs play the game of "I have a commitment" or other "non-offensive" BS.

This week at work I AGAIN forgot to say "hello" before launching into my business and I caught myself and said "By the way.... Hello." The other person laughed and said, "I'm like you, let's get to it!! !!" So we were reciprocating with each other fine, but some NTs would have been all twisted up that I didn't say "hi" or didn't respond "correctly".

If I don't say "hi" some NT is going to say I am not reciprocating. But if I launch into business and they interrupt me to say "hi" to subtly remind me of the "social norm" ---- ummm, that's rude - now who's not reciprocating? :wink:

I practice conversation with my Autistic daughter --- I explain how many NTs talk in 20-30 second bits at a superficial level mostly while many ASDs talk for many minutes or not at all with TMI or none. Many NTs make eye contact for 2-5 seconds while many ASDs either stare or don't make contact at all. Reciprocation depends on the styles of the communicators and one's person style will may be preferred even when accommodating a different one.

Of course the medical community doesn't get this yet. My daughter received an Expressive Language Disorder diagnosis. She's full of thoughts, but her responses are concise or absent (she has a questioning-blank- look and b/c many NTs can't/won't read ASD body language they don't respond to her cue ----ROTFLOL). My daughter is 100% reciprocal when she's talking to another person with concise answers and questioning looks. ROTFLOL.



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21 Aug 2022, 6:04 pm

Joe90 wrote:
"Difficulties with reciprocity" is probably a more accurate term to use in the diagnostic criteria than "lack of empathy", because most people associate lacking empathy with heartless criminals. It's how NTs actually define lacking empathy so you can see why it stigmatizes autism so much.
Reciprocity sounds less misleading and might even help the general public see autism as something other than cold-hearted monsters capable of murder.

I don't think empathy should ever be brought up in the same sentence as autism again.


I feel the same way about this as you do.


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23 Aug 2022, 11:39 pm

Real-life example: My handyman has come over several times; we get along great and have had conversations. During one of his day-long stints at my house, I was at my computer while he was assembling my new desk in another room. Suddenly he called my name and asked if I liked the Eagles (rock band). I said I liked a few of their songs while I was in college. He then began talking about how much he loved one of its members, Joe Walsh, and asked if I was familiar with his music. I said no. He continued talking about Joe Walsh, blah blah, and when he came to a pause, I began talking about MY interest in music, particularly back during the days of the Eagles, and I kind of went on a bit...it was ALL ABOUT MY music preferences...

I failed to socially-emotionally reciprocate. I turned the discussion into me. It wasn't a "give and take." Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't an NT respond by asking further questions to the handyman about his love for Joe Walsh, something like, "I can see in your eyes that you really like that guy; you must've had a great time at his concert." ?? Instead I immediately turned it into MY music preferences and opinions.

Also, asking questions of the original speaker doesn't mean social-emotional reciprocity. A great example (this is a hypothetical) would be if a woman in the gym locker room accidentally bumped into me and profusely apologized, then said she was still recovering from head trauma suffered in a mugging.

My eyes would widen, as would an NT's. But the NT might say something like, "Ohhhh, how awfullll....you poor thing, but it's great that you made it to the gym today!"

The other might say, "Yeah, I was in the ER for 24 hours but I got out yesterday."

"Oh you poor thing, that must've been horrible being in the ER; your family must've been worried sick, but you look and sound really good. I hope the mugger didn't get away with your purse!"

Okay, so that's how an NT would reciprocate.

What would I, the Autistic, say, after the woman said she had head trauma from a mugging? I'd dive right in: "Did you get a CT scan of your head?" I'd want to probe for a brain bleed.

The woman would likely answer, "Yes, I got a scan."

I'd say, "Did they find a bleed in your brain?"

So even though I'm asking questions, there is NO emotional reciprocity. I'm more interested in the medical aspect of traumatic brain injury than I am in the human aspect of a fellow human being victimized by a mugger.



TheOutsider
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24 Aug 2022, 12:23 pm

Elgee wrote:
Real-life example: My handyman has come over several times; we get along great and have had conversations. During one of his day-long stints at my house, I was at my computer while he was assembling my new desk in another room. Suddenly he called my name and asked if I liked the Eagles (rock band). I said I liked a few of their songs while I was in college. He then began talking about how much he loved one of its members, Joe Walsh, and asked if I was familiar with his music. I said no. He continued talking about Joe Walsh, blah blah, and when he came to a pause, I began talking about MY interest in music, particularly back during the days of the Eagles, and I kind of went on a bit...it was ALL ABOUT MY music preferences...

I failed to socially-emotionally reciprocate. I turned the discussion into me. It wasn't a "give and take." Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't an NT respond by asking further questions to the handyman about his love for Joe Walsh, something like, "I can see in your eyes that you really like that guy; you must've had a great time at his concert." ?? Instead I immediately turned it into MY music preferences and opinions.

Also, asking questions of the original speaker doesn't mean social-emotional reciprocity. A great example (this is a hypothetical) would be if a woman in the gym locker room accidentally bumped into me and profusely apologized, then said she was still recovering from head trauma suffered in a mugging.

My eyes would widen, as would an NT's. But the NT might say something like, "Ohhhh, how awfullll....you poor thing, but it's great that you made it to the gym today!"

The other might say, "Yeah, I was in the ER for 24 hours but I got out yesterday."

"Oh you poor thing, that must've been horrible being in the ER; your family must've been worried sick, but you look and sound really good. I hope the mugger didn't get away with your purse!"

Okay, so that's how an NT would reciprocate.

What would I, the Autistic, say, after the woman said she had head trauma from a mugging? I'd dive right in: "Did you get a CT scan of your head?" I'd want to probe for a brain bleed.

The woman would likely answer, "Yes, I got a scan."

I'd say, "Did they find a bleed in your brain?"

So even though I'm asking questions, there is NO emotional reciprocity. I'm more interested in the medical aspect of traumatic brain injury than I am in the human aspect of a fellow human being victimized by a mugger.



That's interesting... I tend to ask a LOT of questions, essentially probing people for information. However, in this case, I probably would have said to the woman, "I hope you get better soon." Then I would have quickly walked away.

I get the point though. I guess there's a certain emotional connection shared on a short term basis between people that should be intuitive for everyone, but is missing for many of us.