Even with increased knowledge and education about autism and the experience of people who are on the spectrum, there is still plenty of misinformation out there. As a parent of a child with autism or person who is close to people with autism, it is helpful to be able to separate myth from fact. Here are more myths about autism:
Myth: Children with Autism Can’t Communicate
Fact: Children on the autism often do face verbal communication challenges, but that certainly doesn’t mean that they are incapable of communicating. Visual communication strategies are incredibly helpful for children with autism and can be a powerful way to connect with your child as they grow. Many children on the autism spectrum are also perfectly capable of learning to communicate verbally. Some may just develop this skill later than most children while others may not struggle with verbal communication at all.
Myth: Autistic People are Dangerous
Fact: This myth often pervades due to the sometimes stressful behavior that often accompanies autism. As children, people with autism can experience sensory overload, resulting in increased anxiety and meltdowns. This struggle can continue through to adulthood, where some people may be taken aback by what is perceived as behavior that is angry or violent. However, any behavior like this is usually not directed at others. People with autism are no more likely to act maliciously than people without autism.
Myth: Autism is Caused by Poor Parenting
Fact: This relatively old myth has long been disproven, but parents who are concerned about their child’s struggles may still find themselves questioning their abilities. The fact is that autism is a neurological condition that is often comorbid with physical conditions such as allergies and food sensitivities. Parents don’t cause autism, but they can certainly support their child’s growth and maturity by using strategies that are specific to their needs.
Myth: People with Autism Don’t Have Feelings
Fact: People with autism feel emotions deeply, but may just have a hard time expressing them in ways most people are used to. This is often the result of challenges with social skills or verbal communication.