Since 2007, the month of April is being celebrated as the World Autism Awareness month. Many non-profit organizations as well as government organizations have been taking firm stance to spread autism awareness across the world, yet, there are haze of misconceptions related to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). It is time for some old-fashioned debunking and make this world a better place for children and adults who suffer from a series of intellectual and cognitive disabilities.
Myth 1: Nutrition has Nothing to do with Autism
Autism is exclusively looked at as a medical problem. We often overlook the fact that the main risk factor for autism is nutritional deficiency. As lack of nutrition is not considered as a medical problem, the cause behind autism could never be researched thoroughly.
Myth 2: People with Autism Lack Emotions or Feelings
Autism does not prevent a person from feeling the emotions that any normal person feels. Even they feel the same amount of happiness or pain. The only difference is that they cannot express it in the manner a normal person does. They have their own distinct ways of expressing it.
Myth 3: People with Autism do not need Friends
A person with autism struggles hard with social skills, which makes it difficult for them to interact or communicate. If an autistic child is acting unfriendly or being shy, it doesn’t mean he or she does not want friends; rather, the fact is that the child is simply unable to communicate the desire for friendship in the way we normally do.
Myth 4: People with Autism are all Savants
Every autistic person is not like Raymond Babbitt, the iconic character played by Dustin Hoffman in the 1988 film, Rain Man. Autism is a spectrum disorder. This means that the limitations and capabilities vary from person to person. And most people with autism are not savants; they rather have less than ordinary skills.
Myth 5: People with Autism will have Autism forever
It has been found in recent researches that autism in children can be improved if it is diagnosed during the early stages. According to reports, most people who were diagnosed at an early stage are now functioning normally and facing no problems in socializing or communicating with people.
These harmful stereotypes block the path, and it is our duty to correct people who falsely repeat them. There are several therapies and behavioral approaches that can improve the autistic conditions. The awareness to be spread across the society and the shackles of misconceptions need to be broken.