There are a lot of misconceptions going around about individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and we think it’s time to debunk them. It is extremely vital to have accurate information about individuals with ASD to ensure that they get the right support in their school and worksites.
Myth Number 1: Autism is one single disorder.
No, Autism is a spectrum disorder, meaning the symptoms, abilities, and severity levels vary from person to person. Characteristics of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can include delayed or no speech, extreme sensitivity to sound or touch, and repetitive behaviors among others.
What is a spectrum disorder? A spectrum disorder includes a range of linked conditions, sometimes also extending to include singular symptoms and traits. The different elements of a spectrum either have a similar appearance or are thought to be caused by the same underlying mechanism.
Myth Number 2: An individual with Autism is a Savant.
Many individuals on the spectrum do share some strengths, such as being visual learners or having a good visual memory. These strengths can be used to help them navigate the world. You might have seen a movie with an individual who has Autism, but they might not be the same as your friend who has Autism.
Myth Number 3: An individual with Autism cannot learn or develop new skills.
Not true! As we said before, Autism is a spectrum, and everyone’s learning ability is different. Like with all people, educating someone with Autism takes an understanding of their needs, abilities, and learning style. Individuals with Autism may require more understanding, method adaptation, and therapy to achieve the same level of learning, but some may not. Some may be even easier to teach than people or children without autism.
Myth Number 4: An individual with Autism cannot feel emotions.
This is definitely not true and can be very harmful to those who have Autism.
Individuals with autism are completely capable of feeling all emotions. Due to the fact that autism can impact one’s ability to communicate and socially interact, this is often misinterpreted as a lack of interest or inability in making connections and relationships. Individuals with ASD can also struggle with interpreting other people’s emotions, body language, and expressions. This different level of understanding might impact their ability to connect and socialize but is not reflective of their disinterest.
Myth Number 5: Autism is a disease.
No, this is extremely incorrect. Autism is not a disease, it is a neurodevelopmental disorder that impairs one’s ability to communicate and interact with others. This varies from one person to another, as Autism is a spectrum disorder.
We hope this clears a few of the misconceptions that we, unfortunately, see going around about ASD.
Take some time out of your day to learn more about ASD and how you can help create a more inclusive world for all!