Autism myths are tricky.
On the one hand, there are a lot of people out there who believe that vaccines or some other medical problem cause autism. On the other hand, many believe that autism is a gift and not something to be treated or cured. But what about all those other myths? Are they true?
Let’s look at some common autism myths and see how they stack up against the facts. Let’s bust them so you can start focusing on what matters: helping your child reach their full potential.
Myth 1: You can spot autism in a newborn.
Fact 1: You can’t! It’s too early to tell if your child will have autism until they’re at least two years old. In fact, some kids aren’t diagnosed until they’re school-aged or even older.
Myth 2: Autism is caused by vaccines.
Fact 2: There’s no evidence to support this claim. The study that started this myth has been discredited by scientists, who say it was poorly designed and conducted. In fact, most studies show there’s nothing abnormal about the brains of people with autism—and certainly nothing that would cause them to develop autism after getting a vaccine!
Myth 3: Autism is contagious.
Fact 3: Autism is not contagious in any way. In fact, autism has nothing to do with viruses or bacteria. It’s a neurological condition that affects brain development.
Myth 4: People with autism lack empathy and can’t feel emotion as deeply as other people do.
Fact 4: This just isn’t true! While their outward expressions of emotion may look different than yours (like when they don’t smile back at you), people with autism do experience emotions just like everyone else.
In fact, they are often extremely sensitive to pain. They may not show it outwardly (which can be confusing to others), but that doesn’t mean they aren’t feeling it.
Myth 5: All autistic people are non-verbal
Fact 5: While some autistic children do not speak, many can communicate in other ways. Some may be able to speak, but have trouble understanding how to use language appropriately. Others may be able to speak and understand language, but have difficulty communicating their needs and wants.
Myth 6: All autistic people are savants or genius
Fact 6: The term “savant” refers to a person with an extreme ability in one specific area. While many people with autism have special skills in math or music, or other areas, only a small percentage of those diagnosed with autism actually meet the criteria for being considered a savant.
It’s a must to shatter the harmful myths surrounding autism and create a more accepting and supportive society. By debunking these misconceptions, we can promote a better understanding of this complex condition and pave the way for a brighter future for those with autism.