If you’re a parent of a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or a healthcare provider who works with individuals with ASD, you may have encountered misconceptions about autism. From the myth that autism is caused by bad parenting to ideas about the effectiveness of treatment, there are several common misconceptions that arise when discussing this disorder. Understanding the misconceptions can help you educate others, find the best treatment for your child, and better support individuals with ASD.
Six of the Most Common Misconceptions About Autism
1. Autism Is Caused by Bad Parenting
This misconception was first proposed by psychoanalysts in the 1960s, but has since been disproved by numerous scientific studies. The cause of autism is still not fully understood, but genetics and environmental factors are believed to play a role. Parenting and upbringing do not cause autism in any way.
2. People with Autism Cannot Communicate or Feel Emotions
Many people with autism have difficulty communicating, but there is a wide range of communication styles. Some individuals with autism may speak fluently, while others may have trouble understanding or expressing verbal language. People with autism can certainly feel emotions, and even when it is not outwardly visible, it does not mean that the individual does not experience them.
3. All People with Autism Are the Same or Have the Same Experience
Everyone’s experience of autism is unique and can vary significantly from person to person. Some may be highly verbal, while others are nonverbal; some may struggle with social interaction, while others have no difficulty making friends and forming relationships.
What unites individuals with autism, however, is the shared experience of struggling to understand and process the world around them in different ways.
4. Only Children Can Have Autism
Autism is a disorder that affects people at all ages. While it is more commonly found in children, adults can also be diagnosed with autism, and may struggle with the same challenges as children.
Some of the signs and symptoms of autism in adults can include:
- Difficulty understanding social cues and nonverbal communication
- Difficulty forming strong relationships
- A need for routine or structure in their daily lives
- Trouble understanding and expressing emotions
5. Autism Is Incurable
There is no cure for autism, but research suggests that early intervention can have a positive impact on the outcome. ABA therapy has been found to be particularly effective in helping individuals with autism reduce their symptoms, develop better communication and social skills, and increase independence.
6. Autism Is All Negative
While autism certainly presents challenges to individuals and their families, it also comes with many gifts. People with autism often have interests that are intense and focused, which can be beneficial in the workplace or at school. Many individuals with autism possess creative problem-solving abilities and have a unique way of seeing the world.
Why It’s Important to Understand Misconceptions About Autism
Understanding misconceptions about autism can help you to provide better support and more effective treatment for individuals with the condition. It also helps to create an inclusive and understanding environment for those with autism, which can have a positive impact on their well-being.
Discover the Rising Above ABA Difference
Our ABA therapy services are available both in the home and in our Waltham clinic. If you’re interested in learning more about our services and how they can help your loved one with autism, contact us today at 888.572.7473 or connect with us online. We’re here to help your family thrive.