Empathy and a Personalised Approach in Autism

  • Richard WoodsEmail author
  • Krysia Emily Waldock
  • Nathan Keates
  • Hayley Morgan
Letter to the Editor


A recent literature review of empathy and autism claims to highlight clinical nature and understandings of empathy in autism. The author acknowledges the method utilised may miss relevant scholarship, simultaneously argues the review can inform therapies. Later, they suggest a personalised approach is more helpful than the spectrum approach to autism (Harmsen 2019). Firstly, we challenge contentious topics in the review. Secondly, we seek to fill gaps in the review, thus, combining to allow a personalised and empathetic approach to autism.

The article refers to various dated clinical language, primarily autism subtypes, referring to differences between categories (Harmsen 2019). However, for such practices has been falling out of favour for almost a decade, since the replacing of autism subtypes with one blanket autism spectrum disorder in the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fifth edition (DSM-5) (Happé 2011). Autism subtypes do not hold up in...



This article received no funding. We thank Dr Nick Chown, Dr Brett Heasman and Dr Noah Sasson for their advice on production of this article. All authors contributed equally to the production of this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Independent ScholarNottinghamUK
  2. 2.Tizard Centre, University of KentCanterburyUK
  3. 3.Swansea UniversitySwanseaUK

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