Autism: What Is Fact And What Is Fiction

Atmaj Vyas , 02 Apr 2018
Autism Awareness Day (Image Courtesy: Shutterstock)
Autism Awareness Day (Image Courtesy: Shutterstock)

Today is World Autism Awareness Day! To help raise awareness for this special cause, we’ve decided to debunk some common myths and notions that people have about autism. This is in order to put a spotlight on the hurdles that individuals with autism face every day. It is a growing global health issue. Hence, we feel it’s important to have some common knowledge about it which would allow us better understand the individuals suffering from it. Here are a few common myths and the truth behind them.

1. Individuals with autism don’t want friends.

People with autism often want to make friends but may find this difficult. They might seem shy or unfriendly, but that’s just because they do not know how to go about making friends.

2. Individuals with autism can’t feel or express any emotion- happy or sad.

People with autism feel the same emotions that we feel – happiness, sadness, anxiety, excitement, etc. Autism just makes people communicate how they feel in different ways.

3. Individuals with autism are intellectually disabled.

On the contrary, people with autism can be very intelligent! Many people who suffer from autism have normal to high IQs and some may excel at math, music or any other pursuit.

Autism Awareness Band (Image Courtesy: Shutterstock)
Autism Awareness Band (Image Courtesy: Shutterstock)

4. Autism is caused by bad parenting.

There is clear evidence from research that shows, autism is not caused by bad parenting but from a difference in the way the brain develops. This actually happens before the child is born.

5. Individuals with autism spectrum disorder cannot lead independent and successful lives.

Given proper support and education, many students with autism will grow up to be successful contributors to society.

6. Individuals with autism cannot talk.

Communication is more than just talking. Some people with autism develop speech but will require help to communicate in alternate ways. These include sign language, using picture-exchange or even speech generating software that is now available on mobiles and tabs.

Mother And Child At The Beach (Image Courtesy: Shutterstock)
Mother And Child At The Beach (Image Courtesy: Shutterstock)

We would like to thank Andre Velho, Autism Interventionist and Behaviour Therapist, Sethu Centre for the information. When we asked him what the objective of raising awareness was, he said;

The main objective of celebrating Autism Awareness Day is to encourage people to understand, accept and embrace it so that they realise that autism is not an illness or a disease and cannot be “cured”. Rather, it’s a neuro-developmental condition that if treated early and intensively, allows those who are impacted by it to have the best possible outcome for the future.

We urge you to help and do your part by raising awareness about a serious issue that many individuals suffer from.

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