Myths and Facts about Autism

1. MYTH: Children with autistic spectrum disorders can’t learn the fundamentals of relating, communicating and thinking, so the best you can do is try to teach them to change their behaviours.

FACT: Many children with autistic spectrum disorders can learn the fundamentals of relating, communicating and thinking. This requires hard work with a comprehensive treatment approach that focuses on each child’s individual processing differences and on helping the child master the basic building blocks of relating, communicating and thinking.

2. MYTH: Autism is a mental illness.

FACT:  Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or Autism is an umbrella term for a group of developmental disorders that are neurological in origin and cause social, communication and behavioural challenges. Autism is not a mental illness.

3. MYTH: Individuals with autism are intellectually impaired or not as smart as others

FACT: Individuals with autism can be incredibly smart and not so smart just like their neurotypical peersPeople often incorrectly assume that an individual with autism has reduced intelligence. This is a dangerous assumption and one that undermines the autistic from reaching their fullest potential.

4. MYTH: Symptoms of autism are similar in all children.

FACT: Autism is known as a spectrum disorder because its symptoms and characteristics appear in a variety of combinations that affect different people in different ways. The challenges faced by children with autism are unique.

5. MYTH: Autism is a fixed biological disorder based on a single genetic pattern.

FACT: Current research suggests that there is no single cause of autism, but rather multiple causes working together in a cumulative way, and multiple paths leading to the disorder.

6. MYTH: Autism is caused by poor parenting.

FACT: In the mid 1950s there was a misconception that autism is caused by cold and detached parenting. Although the exact causes of autism have not been determined till date, it has now been clearly established that autism is not caused by flaws in parenting.

By: Nitin Kumarx

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