The “10 Myths of Autism” below are from parentdish.com (www.bit.ly/c6XBeN). I love that this blog post shows that each person with Autism is an individual. Not every person with autism likes their space, some like the comforting feel of pressure on their bodies. Some people like to make loud noises while the noise pierces other’s ears. And not every child exhibits all the symptoms of autism which makes it harder for a psychologist to diagnosis, and not to mention treat. Autism isn’t like Strep Throat when a doctor can look at your child’s throat order a swab and have a diagnosis and prescription within 30 minutes. What might work for one child may be completely wrong for another. There isn’t just one prescription for autism. Parents, doctors, clinicians and educators must educate themselves on the “best practices” of autism and figure out (usually through trial and error) which treatment is best for each child or adult with autism. The “10 Myths of Autism” may be especially encouraging for parents with a newly diagnosed child who are unsure what to expect. Share with us in the comments section something you or your child with autism does that makes you/him/her special and not part of the autism stereotype!
Myth #1: Eye contact is impossible for someone with autism.
Some people with autism find making eye contact with others difficult, but others have no problem whatsoever.
Myth #2: People with autism can’t show affection. My son is the biggest snuggle bug ever! Being able to snuggle up has never been a problem for him. For some, it is, but not all.
Myth #3: If a child is progressing, he never had autism.
This is not true. It takes work and patience, but progress is possible!
Myth #4: People with autism cannot communicate.
If someone with autism is nonverbal, they have other ways of communicating. Sign language, pictures, computers, etc. are all forms of communication. Just because a person can’t talk, it doesn’t mean they can’t communicate.
Myth #5: Autism is the result of bad or neglectful parenting.
The “refrigerator mother” myth has been around for some time, and I’m actually surprised it still exists. Almost every parent of a child with autism I’ve met is very kind, loving, and incredibly patient. They also spend much of their time feeling needlessly guilty about their child’s autism, so this myth is less than helpful.
Myth #6: If you have autism, you can repeat the whole phone book or know what day of the week April 23 will fall on in four years.
While most children with autism are very smart, an autistic savant is rare. We can all thank the movie Rainman for this little myth. So in the future, please do not ask a mom to get her kid to perform parlor tricks for you.
Myth #7: Children with autism do not want friends.
All children want friends. Some can show this in a better way than others, but I think all children want a friend. A lot of kids with autism just can’t figure out how to go about it.
Myth #8: Kids with autism don’t get their feelings hurt.
If you’ve ever seen my son’s face after a kid has refused to play with him, you’d know this is not true. They might not get mad and yell at someone, or sit down and cry over it, but it’s just as easy to hurt a child-with-autism’s feelings as any other. Please remind your children to be kind.
Myth #9: Better discipline would get their acts together.
Boy, do I love that one! I’ve been told on many occasions that all I need to do is spank him. Another good one, “Let me keep him for a few days, I’ll fix him.” You can’t spank or yell autism away any easier than you can spank cancer away.
Myth #10: If a person with autism can’t communicate, he can’t understand you either.
If someone tapes your mouth closed, do your ears plug up as well? Comprehension skills and expressive skills can develop at different speeds and often do with autism. Just because a child can not say “I love you” does not mean he doesn’t hear you when you tell him you love him.