ABC Pediatrics wants our community to be informed and knowledgeable about Autism Spectrum Disorder, or ASD. After all, one of our core services is education, and that doesn’t end with our youngsters.
That is why we wanted to share with you ten common myths about Autism, so you can better understand the diagnosis, treatment, research and more.
Explore with us – because, with knowledge, we can all succeed.
Myth #1: People with Autism Don’t Feel Emotions
Autism doesn’t mean the individual is a robot or incapable of feeling. Often, individuals with Autism simply see, communicate, and express their emotions differently.
Thinking that people with ASD don’t feel emotions just because they express and understand them differently is like thinking someone doesn’t know how to talk because they speak a different language than you.
Myth #2: People with Autism Can’t Understand Emotions
People with Autism can absolutely understand emotions, often they just need verbal cues and communication instead of tones or body language.
In other words, those with ASD can understand your emotions if you say ‘I am feeling sad’ much better than if you merely frown.
Additionally, those with Autism are often actually more likely to feel empathy and compassion for others than those without Autism.
Myth #3: People with Autism Don’t Have Friends
Though many with Autism struggle with social skills, they do not dislike others or lack the capacity nor the desire for friendship and relationship.
Due to the social struggles, some with Autism may seem unfriendly or shy at first, but often, they just have a more difficult time communicating their desire for friendship.
Myth #4: All Individuals with Autism Are Like ‘Rain Man’
ASD means Autism Spectrum Disorder – and that’s what Autism is, a spectrum. This means that effects and characteristics vary greatly from one individual to another.
You might only ever know one individual with Autism, or you might know hundreds, but each one is an individual with strengths and barriers that are unique to him or her.
Myth #5: People with Autism Aren’t Smart
Often all people with ASD are labeled as mentally disabled or as having a learning disability, but this simply is not true. Many with Autism are exceptionally intelligent in one or many areas and can excel academically.
Many individuals have normal to high IQs and do very well in math, music, or other areas that interest them.
It is important to remember that just because someone’s thinking or mind is different, does not make it worse.
Myth #6: Autism Just Means ‘Odd’ – People Will ‘Grow Out of It’
Autism isn’t a synonym for ‘odd’ or ‘weird’, and it isn’t something that goes away with time. It actually is brought about by biological conditions and affects brain development – this means it is a lifelong condition.
Though there are treatment options for living a more independent and successful life, ASD is not a disorder that will ‘go away’ if left alone.
Myth #7: Only Children Have Autism
Toddlers with Autism grow into children with Autism. Children with Autism grow into teenagers with Autism. And teenagers with Autism grow into adults with Autism.
Autism is often diagnosed at a young age, but it is not a ‘child’ disease, merely most often discovered in toddlers.
Myth #8: Autism Can Be ‘Cured’
Autism is not a disease and cannot be ‘cured’ or ‘caught’. Instead, treatment can help the individual cope and gain skills for their life, both socially and emotionally, so they can reach their highest potential.
Though early detection and treatment are important to lesson symptom severity, Autism is a lifelong disorder.
Myth #9: Autism is Caused by Cold Parents
In the 1950s a theory suggested that ‘cold mothers’ caused Autism, however, this has been fully disproven by multiple studies and experiments.
Autism is not a personality disorder that can be cured or explained away by parenting styles, nor ‘cured’ by hugs and physical affection.
Myth #10: Autism is Caused by Immunizations
The immunizations myth is fully false.
This myth has been swirling around in recent years due to a study that suggested immunizations to be the cause of the spike in ASD diagnoses of recent years, however, the originator of the study admitted years later that the study was falsified.
This myth was further believed because the onset of observable ASD symptoms and age that many young children get their immunizations fall close together.
However, correlation does not always equate to causation, and it does not here.
Learn More About Autism as Well as Autism Services From ABC Pediatrics
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