5 Myths About Autism

Wednesday, 01 Dec 2010 12:33 PM

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Since the beginning of the 20th century, many myths have surrounded autism. More often than not, people's understanding of autism is based on these common myths. 
 
The top five myths about autism are:
 
1. People suffering from autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are geniuses or people who have hidden talents. This perception of autistic peoautism awareness symptoms
disorderple comes from movies like Rainman and reports that suggest that geniuses like Einstein, Thomas Jefferson, Beethoven, and Isaac Newton exhibited symptoms that belong to the ASD category. The truth is, autistic people are just normal people who have certain disabilities that they can overcome with time. A few of them, but not all, happen to be child prodigies and geniuses.
 
2. All autistic people have down syndrome.The truth is, categorizing symptoms of ASD can be extremely difficult as they may vary from person to person. Assessing the cognitive ability of people who suffer from ASD is tough. Some of them have perception problems, while others have difficulties related to motor abilities. Specially designed blood tests alone can determine whether a person is truly autistic. People who have problems communicating and speaking may not have down syndrome or autism. 
 
3. The third myth about autism is that there is no cure or hope to treat autism. This is a controversial myth as some doctors have claimed to cure people who exhibited severe symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Although is no medical evidence to suggest that these patients were cured, these people sought medical help to lead normal lives and were successful in overcoming and coping with their problems.  
 
4. Another myth about autism is that autistic people cannot build relationships with others. The truth is that many autistic people are known to have successful friendships and even romantic relationships. While they appear a little isolated socially, they are capable of loving their family and close friends. The only problem is that they lack the ability to express this affection.
 
5. The most dangerous and absurd myth is that autistic people are a danger to society. However, the fact is that only those patients who are afflicted with Asperger's Syndrome tend to be somewhat violent. This violent behavior is usually triggered due to frustration or a sensory overload. Autistic people turning violent are a rarity and may be only in self-defense or out of fear. 

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