There are so many more myths about Autism, but generally speaking…
1. Autism is contagious. You can’t catch autism. Autism is something people are born with, like blue eyes or red hair. In this case, people with autism are born with a brain that is very good at some things but has trouble with others.
2. Autism is caused by vaccines. Studies continue to find that vaccines, even multiple vaccines in one day, do not cause autism.
3. Autism is a disease. It is not a disease, but a developmental disability. It is a difference that causes those affected to have difficulty communicating and interacting with others.
4. Autism is a tragedy. When parents are first faced with the diagnosis of autism in their children they may feel sad or scared. But with the right support, autistic people can live full lives. They can go to school, work, live in the community, get married, start families, vote, pursue their interests – anything that anyone else can do.
5. Autistic people are eternal children. Autistic children grow up to be autistic adults. An autistic 20 year old is not a toddler in a 20 year old body. They are intelligent adults, just like other 20 year olds.
6. You can grow out of autism. Autism is a life-long developmental disability. The same percentage of adults and children are autistic. However, with early intervention and the proper support, some facets of autism can be improved.
7. Autism means not being able to speak. Communication disability is part of the diagnostic criteria for autism, but most do develop the ability to talk. About 15-20% of autistic people do not develop oral speech.
8. Autism means intellectual disability. Intellectual disability is not a part of autism, but some people (about 15-25%) have both autism and an intellectual disability.
9. Autistic people lack empathy. No – autistic people are people, not robots. They feel love and empathy for others just like we do. They may have difficulty showing it, but they feel it just the same.
10. All autistic people are savants. Just as not all autistic people are intellectually disabled, not all are intellectually gifted, either. However, about 10% of autistic people have savant skills such as a photographic memory or calendar calculation.
11. Only boys are autistic. Boys are more likely to be affected, being diagnosed with the disorder 10 times more often. But girls can be autistic as well.
12. Autistic people suffer from autism. Autistic people suffer from prejudice and discrimination. Autistic people suffer when they do not get the support and accommodation they need, when they receive substandard or segregated education or living environments, when they are kept out of the community or kept unemployed, when their civil and human rights are violated, or when their access to communication and the rights to make their own decisions are denied.
- Let us fight together against Autism (On the occasion of World Autism Day) (mywritingmyworld.wordpress.com)