Lack of proper knowledge about autism can make it difficult for people living with it, have their condition recognized. More often than not, false perception about the condition prevail in the society, leading to people with autism being isolated and in some cases, lead to abuse and bullying.
This article hopes to throw light on some myths that have been circulating around the world, and how they need to be corrected.
MYTH 1: Autistic people avoid visual and social contact
Since autistic people are a diverse group, it is difficult to use the determinant “all” when defining. Despite the embarrassment in social situations that characterize autistic people, many autistic people demonstrate a certain degree of social interest and are ready to initiate social interactions. Many autistic people also have emotional signs and social activities that involve individual activities.
MYTH 2: Autistic people have extraordinary talent
Contrary to the common belief, the majority of people diagnosed with autism are not geniuses like the title character in the hit movie ‘Rain Man’. However, many of these people develop their skills in an unevenly dispersed manner. Hence, some skills can be identified more than others.
MYTH 3: Autism is caused by cold attitude, distant or disturbed parents
Although the causes of autism spectrum disorder is unknown, it has been proven that parents of children who are diagnosed of this disorder are not different from other parents. It is now generally recognized that autism is a neurological disorder, already acquired at birth or is apparent from the first weeks of life, or appears before the third year of existence.
MYTH 4: Autism is mainly intellectual disability
Dr. Mottron and his team have shown that the methods commonly used to assess the intelligence of autistic people were inadequate and did not allow to reveal the real level of intelligence of these people. Their sometimes bizarre behavior has often led to underestimate their intellectual abilities
MYTH 5: Autistic people are rude and incapable of empathy and compassion for others
Often, because of their inability to perceive the intentions and perspectives of others and their impaired ability to read nonverbal and nuances in daily social communication, people with autism do not react or do not react appropriately. It’s not that they are indifferent, but they do not respond to what they cannot see. Communication is a two way street. We cannot expect anyone to recognize and respond to what he/she does not know.
These myths listed here are just among the thousands that have been circulating around the world. The lack of awareness about autism is the reason for such conclusions. When an autistic person behaves in the way they do, it is rarely the result of their willful choice. But the repercussions from such behavior and the conclusions about the condition, is likely the result of a mistaken perception. The most effective treatment uses positive measures accompanied by techniques designed to increase awareness and understanding of individual behavior and the effect of this behavior on those around them.