Myth 1: Autism is a Mental Health Disorder
Truth: Autism is a neurological disorder. According to the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is “a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges.” The condition affects individuals differently, and is called a ‘spectrum’ because people can experience a range of symptoms.
Myth 2: Autism is Rare
Truth: Autism is actually more common than many people think. It is estimated that 1 in 54 boys and 1 in 252 girls in the United States have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 in 59 eight-year-old children have been identified with ASD.
Myth 3: People with Autism Don’t Want Friends
Truth: People with Autism are social creatures and often crave companionship. While they may struggle with social cues and not understand how to navigate relationships, they are still capable of connecting with others, enjoying friendships, and experiencing love.
Myth 4: People with Autism Have Low Intelligence
Truth: Having a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) does not necessarily mean that an individual has a low IQ. In fact, some people with autism have superior intelligence and are gifted in certain areas. According to the Autism Society, people with ASD can have “talents in music, visual arts, mathematics, and sciences.”
Myth 5: Autism is a Result of Bad Parenting
Truth: While some factors in a person’s environment can contribute to a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), there is no scientific evidence that ‘bad parenting’ is to blame. The cause of ASD is not yet known, but the current research suggests that genetics and environmental factors may contribute to the development of the condition.