“Autism is about having a pure heart and being very sensitive. It is about finding a way to survive in an overwhelming, confusing world. It is about developing differently, in a different pace and with different leaps.”Autism Parenting Magazine
There are a lot of fallacies disseminated about Autism and individuals suffering from the disorder. To fully meet the needs of autistic people and support them, it is essential to have factual information about their strengths and challenges. Today’s article explains some common myths about autism.
- Autism is a disease.
It is not a disease, however, a neurodevelopmental disorder that weakens an individual’s ability to talk and move with others. Individuals with Autism have problems with communication, social interactions, and activities. However, their disability does not define them, and they should not be regarded as sick people. Autism is treated as a whole to enable the individual and their families to live comfortably.
- Autistic people don’t make friends.
Autism undermines the social interactions of the individual. This does not insinuate that they dislike to fraternize. They may seem hostile or hesitant on the outside, but this results from the fact that they battle with social skills and are usually incapable of fully expressing their feelings.
- Bad parenting causes Autism.
This story got busted a long time ago. There was a theory referred to as the “refrigerator mother hypothesis” within the fifties that erroneously posited that Autism is caused by mothers who were not emotionally warm. This has long been disproved.
- Autistic people are intellectually disabled.
Continually, Autism brings with it just as many exceptional abilities as challenges. Many folks with autism have normal to high IQs and a few might surpass the normal expectations of society in their math, music, or another pursuit.
- Autism only affects children.
Children with Autism mature to become grown-ups with Autism.
- Autism can be cured.
There is presently no cure for Autism. However, early and intensive behavioral treatment can, in several cases, cut back the severity of symptoms and facilitate people to develop adaptive skills for daily living, emotion, and behavior.
- People with Autism are violent.
While sensory overload can cause persons with Autism to act out, violence is not a common occurrence.
- Children with Autism need to be taught to make eye contact.
It is physically painful for autistics to make eye contact. The prime purpose is to understand children with Autism. If they can speak and be understood, that should be enough.
- There is an Autism “epidemic.”
Admittedly the numbers are on the rise, but there is no Autism epidemic. Autism is not a disease. Moreover, due to changes in diagnostic criteria, most children diagnosed with Autism would have had a different diagnosis some twenty (20) years ago.
- All persons with Autism possess savant abilities.
About ten (10) percent of persons with Autism show savant abilities. Some have what we term “splinter skills,” which is the ability to perform a specific task that does not generalize to other tasks.
- People with Autism are unable to form meaningful social relationships.
It is true that people with Autism have difficulty with social interaction. However, they can still establish close relationships, fall in love and have children.
- Autistic people cannot stand to be touched.
While this is true for people with high sensory sensitivities, others enjoy physical affection such as hugging and touching.
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