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Myths About Autism

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Myths about Autism exist commonly due to lack of awareness and on the topic. Let us bust few of these myths.
  1. Myth - Autism is a Mental Disorder.
    There is a general impression that Autism is a mental disorder as many children on the autistic spectrum have comorbidities that are psychiatric in nature.Truth - Autistic spectrum disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder of multi factorial origin which means there are defects in the structure of the brain while it is in the developmental stage which results in a few functional difficulties.
  2. Myth - All the children diagnosed with ASD have mental disabilities.Truth – Autistic children show a wide spectrum of intellectual abilities. Assessments of some ASD children reveal a high IQ and various talents and skills which is termed as high functioning autism and a few are on the opposite end of the spectrum which shows greater deficits in intellectual capacities.  Most of them show deficits in social skills and therefore the standard tests which include language and interpersonal skills tend to misdiagnose the intellectual capacities of children on the autistic spectrum.
  3. Myth - Children on the Autism Spectrum cannot form loving relationships with others
    Truth – Autism does not affect the child’s ability to feel emotions or experience intimacy. It only hamper’s the child’s ability to express love due to deficits in communication. Many children on the autistic spectrum have successfully formed loving relationships in future and have even raised children.
  4. Myth – Children on the autism spectrum can never develop cognitive and communicative or social abilities
    Truth – Children on the autistic spectrum can overcome the cognitive, communicative and well as social abilities through interventions (examples - Applied Behavioral Analysis, Social stories and Home therapy) developed by professionals. The caregivers, the teachers and the professionals should all be involved in this process.
  5. Myth – Autism is caused by vaccines
    Truth – There is no scientific evidence to support this myth.


  1. The Interdisciplinary Council on Development and Learning. Autism Myths and Facts.Available at - https://www.icdl.com/parents/about-autism/autism-myths-facts?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIg77LvYaY7QIVjX8rCh1FcwtVEAAYASAAEgK8ivD_BwE
  2. State of Nevada Aging and Disability Services Division (ADSD).
    Available at –http://adsd.nv.gov/uploadedFiles/adsdnvgov/content/Programs/Autism/ATAP/Autism%20Myths%20and%20Misconceptions.pdf