Raising a Child With Autism: Five Myths of Autism

Raising a Child With Autism Five Myths of Autism - Applied Behavioral Consulting Blog


Autism Spectrum Disorder, or Autism, is characterized by challenges with social skills speech and non-verbal communications, repetitive behaviors, and by unique strengths and differences among those it effects. Autism is not the same in every person and in fact, there are many types; it is unique in each person and therefore was named to Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD. Understanding Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorder is important in order to understand whether the information is truth or myth. Therapies are successful in treating children and people with autism. ABC Consulting offers various therapies so we can support your child with a plan that is best for them. There are lots of myths surrounding ASD, five of which we will discuss below.

Myth #1

Individuals with autism are unable or unwilling to form meaningful social relationships.

This simply is not true, as those with ASD often have desires in place in childhood to interact with others. However, social development in children with ASD may be more difficult than for those without ASD. With therapies and support, like peer interaction therapy, children will develop meaningful social relationships.

Myth #2

Autism is a mental health disorder.

Autism is a neurological disorder and is not a mental health disorder. Neurological disorders are diseases of the brain, spine, and the nerves that connect them. Autism spectrum disorder refers to a group of neurodevelopment disorders. Autism is not related to mental health disorders. Many people with ASD successfully utilize skills learned in therapy and are able to work successfully and live independently.

Myth #3

All individuals with autism have savant abilities.

While the media and common understanding of autism may lead to the general public linking autism with “genius” traits, this in fact is a myth. Only about ten percent of individuals with autism exhibit savant abilities. It is likely that the general public mix up savant abilities for what may actually be a more accurately referred to as a splinter skill. Splinter skills are skills which typically go beyond ordinary ability level are skills in one or two areas which are above the child’s normal performance abilities. More specifically, the splinter skills are talents or abilities that are unrelated to other aspects of a person’s life, such as playing the piano exceptionally as a child or having exceptional knowledge in mathematics.

Myth #4

Autism is caused by vaccines.

There is no evidence that vaccinations during childhood cause autism. While we do not yet know the exact cause of autism, there is research being done to further understand autism. Genes are likely one of the causes of autism but are not the lone cause. The vaccine myth stems out of a 1998 study, which at the timed linked autism with vaccines. This study has since been retracted.

Myth #5

Autism can be cured.

ASD is different and unique in every individual and is treatable through therapies and programs such as applied behavior analysis and peer interaction therapy for children. Treatment and programs may eventually allow the individual with autism to develop the coping skills which allow them to lead successful lives and these individuals may be able to utilize the skills they developed to be able to no longer be diagnosed on the spectrum.

ABC Consulting cares about you your child. We hope you will give us the opportunity to work with you. We can help you better understand your child and support you with successful therapies for their well-being. We have put together some simple steps to help you get started with us.