So, your kid has been diagnosed with autism. You're probably feeling a mix of emotions right now, ranging from scared to nervous. And you may have a lot of questions about what this means for your child and your family.
But before you start worrying too much, it's important to dispel some of the myths and misconceptions about autism that are floating around out there.
Here are just a few of them!
Autism myths and facts: Everything you need to know
There are many myths about ASD that circulate around the internet and in popular culture. Some people believe that parents are to blame for their child's autism, or that vaccination can cause ASD. So, what is true and what isn’t?
Myths about autism
1. Autism is caused by bad parenting
Although the exact cause of autism is unknown, parents often blame themselves for their child's condition, even though there is no scientific evidence to suggest that bad parenting is a cause of autism.
Autism is a complex condition that is believed to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. So, no, bad parenting can’t cause ASD. But, while bad parenting may not be the cause of autism, it can certainly contribute to the severity of symptoms. Parents who are unresponsive to their child's needs or who fail to provide structure and support can make it more difficult for a child with autism to function in the world.
So, it’s essential that parents focus on providing the best possible care for their child.
2. ASD is a mental disorder
As parents, we want what is best for our children. We want them to be happy and healthy, and to grow up to lead successful lives. So when a child is diagnosed with autism, it can be devastating. We may worry that our children will never be able to lead a "normal" life and that they will always be at a disadvantage.
However, it is important to remember that autism is not a mental disorder. Autism is a neurological condition that affects the way a person processes information. While it can be challenging, it does not mean that a person with autism cannot live a happy and successful life. With the right support, people with autism can achieve their goals and lead fulfilling lives.
3. All autistic people are geniuses
Some parents of autistic children believe that their child's autism gives them a special kind of intelligence, and there are certainly many examples of autistic people who have gone on to achieve great things, like Steve Jobs.
Nonetheless, there is no scientific evidence to support the idea that autism and genius are linked. It’s true that autistic people can be excellent at certain things thanks to the fact that they focus so much on their interests, but that doesn’t mean they all have a high IQ.
Moreover, people believe that labeling autistic people as geniuses simply reinforces the stereotype that they are strange or unusual.
4. Autism can be cured
Parents of children with autism often ask if there is a cure for the condition. No, at this time, there is no known cure for autism spectrum disorder and a lot of families wouldn’t want one if there was. Even without a cure, that does not mean that there is no hope for the families that want something like it.
While there is no cure for autism, early diagnosis and intervention can make a tremendous difference in the lives of those affected by the condition. With early diagnosis and intervention, many people with autism are able to develop the skills they need to lead independent lives. There are also a number of support groups and resources available to parents of children with autism, which can help them to better understand and manage the condition.
So, don’t feel like it’s the end of the world! Kids with autism can enjoy life.
5. All autistic people are the same
No two people with autism are exactly alike. While there are some common features associated with the condition, the symptoms and severity of autism can vary widely from one individual to the next. This can make it difficult for parents to know what to expect when their child is diagnosed with autism.
However, it is important to remember that every person with autism is unique and that there is no single “right” way to deal with the condition. Some people with autism may require specialized therapies and interventions, while others may be able to live relatively normal lives with minimal assistance. It is important to work with your child’s care team to develop an individualized plan that meets your child’s specific needs.
6. Autistic people prefer to be alone
While some people with autism may prefer not to socialize, many others enjoy spending time with friends and family.
Again, autism is a spectrum, which means that not everyone experiences the same symptoms, so their social skills can vary.
Additionally, there are a lot of ways kids can socialize with one another, even if they don’t like contact. You could role-play to teach them how to act in a certain situation, or you could enroll them in an online group, so they can make friends and connect with others kids like them
Now you know the most common misconceptions about autism! Do you have any other myth you want to clarify? Leave it in your comments and we’ll answer them!