Most people who have heard the word “autism” have probably internalized a long list of negative stereotypes associated with the disorder: That kids with autism don’t make eye contact, that they have very low cognition or that they tantrum a lot.
We’re here to set the record straight – on some of it, at least.
by Jeanne Sager -
1. Kids with Autism kids have no empathy. “This is not the issue,” says Shannon Rosa, editor of Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism and mom of a boy with autism. “The issue is generally processing social signals and body language. People with autism are often more empathetic than neuro-typicals, plus have fewer filters to protect themselves from other people’s emotional states.”
2. There is an autism “epidemic”. Sure, the numbers are up, but this is a big no, Rosa says. “First, autism is not a disease. Secondly, due to changes in diagnostic criteria, most of the children diagnosed with autism today would have different diagnoses 20 years ago. If there’s any crisis, it is one of under-diagnoses, as that infamous ’1 in 88′ CDC study revealed.”
3. Kids with autism need to be taught to make eye contact. “Um, no!” Rosa says. “Eye contact is physically painful for many children with autism. Others can either make eye contact or talk, but not both at the same time. Responses come in many forms, other folks need to learn to respect that. If I ask my son a question, and he responds verbally, that’s good enough for me.”
4. Many kids on the spectrum are just like Dustin Hoffman’s character in the movie Rain Man. “Many people assume that all people with autism have savant skills, especially memory type things,” Mast explains. “That is not the case. Like any human being, each person has skills that they are better at than others, but not all have a savant skill.”
5. Children with autism can’t stand to be touched. Not true at all, says Leigh Merryday, mom of a child with autism and blogger at Flappiness Is. Need more proof than that? Just check out the pictures of her hugging little Callum on her blog where she describes him as “quite a friendly and affectionate little guy.”
What autism myths bother you?
Read more at Biggest Myths About Autism From Moms Who Know.
[Via - The Stir]