7 Things That Are Often Misunderstood About Autism

Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disorder often caused by genetic factors. People with autism are often discriminated against due to behaviors out of their control or persistent myths. This article will dissect these myths and shed some light on this complex disorder.

Fact #1: Autism is a Complex Disorder

Autism is a spectrum disorder that doesn’t have a straightforward diagnosis. Everyone with autism is unique and has different abilities and interests, various difficulties or non-difficulties with communication or social interaction, and specific sensory needs or non-needs. 

Fact #2: Autism isn’t Caused by Vaccines or Poor Parenting

There’s no reliable evidence that autism is caused by vaccines or poor parenting. However, there is evidence that authoritarian parenting styles can make symptoms of autism more apparent. If you have a child with autism, seek out family-centered autism services for help.

Fact #3: Autism is Primarily Formed in the Womb

The majority of autism risk factors disappear once your child is born, but what mothers do before they give birth could leave children at greater risk for autism. For example, if prenatal vitamins containing folic acid are consumed throughout the pregnancy, autism risk decreases.

There’s some evidence that taking Tylenol when pregnant could cause autism, ADHD, and other developmental disorders. If you took a drug containing acetaminophen while with child, you should contact professional defective drug lawyers.

Fact #4: Autism Can’t be Cured (But is Often Masked)

Some psychologists or parents will claim that they cured autism because the child or adult doesn’t “look” or “act” like a person with autism. While it’s true that some people with autism can act indistinguishable from their neurotypical peers, they often struggle to maintain these skills.

It isn’t because people with autism aren’t capable or unintelligent; it’s because they aren’t able to be themselves. Many of us have had to act like another person or hide our true personalities for one reason or another. This mask is exhausting to keep up and will eventually fall.

Fact #5: Autism Isn’t a Problem to be Solved

Our culture considers anything different as “abnormal” and in need of change. This is why so many adults and children with autism are taught to act “normal” for the benefit of their peers. In reality, it would be much easier and less traumatic for neurotypical people to adjust theirs.

When we approach people with autism like a problem to be solved rather than an individual to be understood, it causes greater issues. The same could be said about anyone, neurodivergent or otherwise. With the right support, people with autism lead fulfilling and productive lives.

Fact #6: There isn’t an Autism Epidemic

Neurodevelopmental disorders like ADHD and autism aren’t more common today than they were in the past. The reason why so many adults and children are being diagnosed with these conditions now is evidence of their existence. Prior to 1980, there was no “autism spectrum.”

Because the diagnostic criteria for autism was so rigid, few were properly diagnosed. Now, we have specialized psychologists who can adequately assess autism’s prevalence. This gives us the tools to focus on the immediate needs of people with autism, which should be praised.

Fact #7: People With Autism Can Form Relationships

It’s often thought that people with autism can’t form strong bonds because they lack empathy. However, people with autism experience every emotion a neurotypical person feels. What’s affecting their ability to form attachments is a lack of understanding on the other person’s part.

Some people with autism have difficulty understanding social cues or naming emotions, but it doesn’t mean they don’t care. Relationships are a two-way street, and success is never the responsibility of one party. Both people need to be understanding to form strong bonds.

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