Common Autism Myths
Autism spectrum disorder or ASD, refers to a range of impairments in cognitive, behavioural, communication and social – interaction abilities.
Approximately one in every 68 children in the US meets the criteria for autism. Though awareness about autism has increased in recent years, there are still many common misconceptions about the disorder. Here are a few of the biggest that advocates and professionals are working to dispel.
Myth number one: vaccines can cause autism.
Numerous studies have disproved the false link between vaccines and autism popularized by now discredited Dr. in the 1990s. Put simply: there is no connection between getting your child vaccinated and an increased risk of autism. And not vaccinating your child puts him or her a much greater risk of getting seriously ill – one of the reasons there has been a resurgence of infectious diseases, such as mumps and whooping cough, throughout much history of the US.
Myth number two: autism looks the same in every case.
Autism spectrum disorder is a complex collection of symptoms and not every child exhibits every one. Children may receive a diagnosis range from high functioning to low functioning. Some may be incredibly gifted in specific areas approximately 1 in every 10 cases of autism exhibits alexithhymia yet struggle to express empathy and connect with peers. Others may experience severe delays in learning, communication, emotion regulation and self-help skills.
Myth number three: people with autism don't feel empathy.
Autism itself is not a barrier to empathy. Rather condition called alexithymia-which is more common among individuals with autistic spectrum disorder – can make understanding and identifying emotions difficult. About half of all individuals with autism meet the criteria for alexithymia.