Blog By Arman Khodaei
There are many misconceptions and myths regarding Autistic Individuals. Here are some of the most common Autism myths and misconceptions.
Myth #1: All Autistic Individuals Have Special Talents
One of the most common Autism myths is that we all have extraordinary talents, such as a photographic memory, exceptional musical ability, or being to create extraordinary pieces of art. While it is true that some Autistic individuals have savant talents, the majority of us do not have these special talents.
Myth #2: Autism is Caused by Bad Parenting
Something that comes up every now and then is that autism is caused by poor parenting or a lack of maternal bonding. While environmental factors may play a role in the development of Autism, it is simply false that Autism is caused by bad parenting.
Myth #3: Autism is a Mental Illness
Some people get Autism confused with other disorders or mistake it for mental illness. Autism is actually a neurological disorder. Autism affects the way that the brain processes information and can impact a person’s behavior, communication, and social skills.
Myth #4: Autism is Rare
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1 in 54 children in the United States has been diagnosed with autism.
Myth #5: Autistic People Do Not Have Feelings
Due to Autism first and foremost affecting one’s ability to communicate and socialize, sometimes people believe that Autistic people do not have feelings and emotions and aren’t capable of human connection. This is simply untrue. Autistic individuals may express and experience emotions and human connection differently than neurotypical individuals, however, we still experience joy, sadness, anger and all the other range of emotions.
Myth #6: Autism Can Be Cured
Autism has no cure and many Autistic People have no desire to be cured. While there are various therapies and interventions that can help Autistic individuals, Autism is a lifelong disorder.
Myth #7: Autistic Individuals Do Not Want to Socialize
Almost all Autistic Individuals struggle with social interactions, however, this does not mean that we do not wish to socialize, make friends, and even potential romantic relationship. In fact, many Autistic Individuals have a strong desire to connect with others, but most of us struggle with social skills.
Myth #8: All Autistic People are Into Nerdy Things
While it is true a lot of Autistic People may really be into Pokemon or Star Wars and can tell you all the stats of every Pokemon ever or quote the entirety of Revenge of the Sith, we all have different interests. Some of us are into sports and others of us just like to watch TV or play video games. We are like everybody else when it comes to interests.
Myth #9: Autistic People Are Not Capable of Romantic Relationships
While Most of us struggle with relationships or even entering a romantic relationship, that doesn’t mean we don’t want one. And, yes, some of Autistic People are married ad even have kids.
Myth #10 You Don’t Look Autistic
This is a common phrase that some Autistic Individuals hear. Autism affects people to various degrees and often gets paired up with comorbidities. Many Autistic People may initially seem/look neurotypical until you get to know them better.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Arman Khodaei is an adult with Autism who has over 14 years experience as a Community Organizer, creating connections with community partners, public speaking, teaching workshops, running, and coordinating events, and helping adults on the autism spectrum reach their full potential. You can reach Arman at firstname.lastname@example.org