Autism has given way to numerous myths about the disorder. Its origin is still debated today and researchers continue to try and find an exact cause. Many statements about the disorder exist. Some are based in fact, while others are fictional. Below are ten statements. Can you separate the truth from inaccurate?
1) Autism occurs more in boys than girls. – Fact
Recent findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that 1 in 88 children are diagnosed with autism. According to the CDC, 1 in 54 boys are diagnosed with autism. That figure is five times higher than girls diagnosed with autism, about 1 in 252.
2) Autistic individuals have increased senses. – Fact
No I’m not talking about Spider Senses, although if my brother could spin webs and swing from building to building that would be awesome. People with autism are much more sensitive to their environments Fluorescent lights bother them, while those same bulbs are invisible to us. During family parties, my brother will often put cotton in his ears to soften the noise. Common chatter is normal to us, but autistic people are much more reactive to these every day noises.
3) All autistic people are savants. – Fiction
Not every person with ASD is Rain Man. Savants are people who have incredible minds.
Rain Man was a savant. If you took out the Ace of Spades in the deck of cards and showed the remaining deck to Rain Man, he would know the Ace was missing.
4) Autism is a disease – Fiction
Autism Spectrum Disorder is not a disease. Cancer is a disease. Alzheimer’s is a disease. Diseases kill you. Last I checked, autism does not kill.
5) You need a sense of humor when interacting with autistic people – Fact
This may be the most true item on this list. Your sense of humor will get your through some rough days. Do you have any smart-ass friends? Keep in touch with them. A good laugh everyday is healthy.
6) Autistic people can read social cues. – Fiction
People with ASD have tough time reading social cues. It is one of the tell-tale signs of an autistic person. Social interaction is the main obstacle of autism, but just because they have difficulty interacting does not mean they do no want to be your friend. You just have to open the door.
7) Autistic people will listen to everything you say in a literal sense. – Fact
Autistic individuals understand black and white directions. Sarcasm, puns or cliches will confuse them. If you say, “Rule of thumb,” to an autistic person, they will be confused. Speak in sentences where they will not be confused. For example, “Go hang your coat in the closest, Joni.”
8) Early treatment is a cure for autism. – Fiction
There is no cure for autism. Early treatment can help an autistic person develop the everyday skills they will need as well as improving their social interaction among other life skills.
9) If a couple has one autistic child, the chances of them having another autistic child increases. – Fact
One study revealed that if a couple has one autistic child, the chances of their next child having autism increases by 19 percent.
10) Autistic people are not intelligent. – Fiction
Everyone is intelligent in their own way. People with ASD just have a different way of showing their own intelligence. One blogger quoted one of my favorite sayings from Albert Einstein.