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Myths Surrounding Autism Spectrum Disorders and the Truth

By: Krystle Crossman

Studies have shown that 1 in 68 children are diagnosed as having an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). There are many different myths and stigmas that are thrown around regarding ASD and the kids that are diagnosed with it. Here are four common myths and the truth about them according to the CDC:

1. There is a cure – This is incorrect. There is no cure for disorders on the autism spectrum. The cause of autism is still unknown so it is very hard to have a cure. There are treatments and therapies that children and adults with autism can go through to help lessen their symptoms but at the moment there are no specific cures.

2. Children that have autism have a “special gift” of some sort – While some children who are diagnosed with ASD have special talents or are extremely gifted in certain areas this is not a benchmark for all children with ASD. The National Autistic Society conducted a study and found that 39% of people diagnosed with ASD had some special talent or excelled in specific areas such as math or music. There are so many different levels on the autism spectrum that there is no way to lump everyone who is diagnosed with ASD into one category.

3. People with ASD have no feelings or emotions – This is absolutely untrue. While some of the classic signs of an ASD patient are avoidance of eye contact, difficulty expressing emotions, resistance to any type of physical contact, and difficulty with empathy, this does not mean that they don’t have emotions or feelings. People with ASD feel just as much as those who don’t have it do, they just have more trouble expressing these feelings at times. Again the spectrum is so broad that there is no way to lump everyone into this category. Someone on the lower end of the spectrum may not be able to have direct eye contact but they may have no trouble expressing their emotions.

4. We know what causes ASD – Researchers and scientists have been studying autism for many years and they still are not sure of what causes it. Genetics play a large role in whether a child develops autism or not but it is still unclear where the gene comes from.

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