There are many myths and misconceptions about autism and children with autism. Sometimes, these myths are offensive or can even cause harm. It is important to ensure you are getting the appropriate help and information from qualified professionals to best support you and your child.
Common Myths about Autism Spectrum Disorder
Myth 1 – Autism is a disease.
Autism is, quite simply, not a disease. ASD cannot be cured with medicine like an illness. You cannot “catch” autism. Children with autism are not sick or ill.
Autism Spectrum Disorder is a group of complex disorders characterized by difficulties with social interaction, communication, and behavior. ASD is a neurodevelopmental condition that delays the development of basic skills like socializing, communicating, and developing independent living skills.
Children with autism can be healthy and independent. Our goal at Solstice Behavioral Health and Consulting is to teach life skills, communication skills, and behavioral practices that your child can use to cope with the struggles caused by autism. With incremental improvement, your child can live a meaningful, productive, and healthy life.
Myth 2 – Vaccines cause autism
People mistakenly believe that vaccines can cause autism. This is one of the most popular myths surrounding ASD today even though there is no evidence and there are countless independent studies that prove otherwise. The original publication regarding this myth was debunked and the physician that wrote it was stripped of his medical license. Still the effects of those lies have rippled for nearly 3 decades.
Myth 3 – All people with autism have a savant skill
There are plenty of popular movies and shows that broadcast savant skills to adoring fans. However, a savant skill is caused by savant syndrome and is a very rare condition where someone exhibits extraordinary mental abilities. Although savant syndrome is very real, it is a myth to believe that ALL people with autism have a savant skill. Many times children with autism will show an interest in a certain topic or object and can be misconstrued as savant skills. In reality, perhaps it is a child’s curiosity and interest or a splinter skill.
Myth 4 – People with autism don’t feel emotion
This myth is harmful to children with autism. Children want to have friends, relationships, and companionship. Communication challenges are a prime indicator of ASD. As such it is common for children with autism to have trouble in social situations. Difficulty does not mean absence. People with autism are completely capable of feeling ALL emotions. With consistent ABA therapy, children with autism can learn to communicate better which in turn will allow them to share their feelings with others.
Myth 5 – A child can outgrow autism.
Some people think that autism is a “phase” or a stage experienced by children that they will one day “grow out of autism”. The truth is that autism is a lifelong disorder and there is no cure because autism is not a disease. Autism is a spectrum with multiple symptoms that vary for each individual. The level of impact of autism will change and develop throughout their lives as they mature and are provided support and guidance. There is no reason why a child with autism cannot live a healthy, happy, meaningful life. The experts of Solstice Behavioral Health & Consulting strive to build living, communication, and coping skills that will last a lifetime.