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10 Common Autism Myths

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10 Common Autism Myths

by the editors at TheStir (Subscribe to the editors at TheStir's posts)

Apr 13th 2010 8:00AM

Myth #1: Eye contact is impossible for someone with autism.

Some people with autism find making eye contact with others difficult, but others have no problem whatsoever.

Myth #2: People with autism can't show affection. My son is the biggest snuggle bug ever! Being able to snuggle up has never been a problem for him. For some, it is, but not all.

Myth #3: If a child is progressing, he never had autism.

This is not true. It takes work and patience, but progress is possible!

Myth #4: People with autism cannot communicate.

If someone with autism is nonverbal, they have other ways of communicating. Sign language, pictures, computers, etc. are all forms of communication. Just because a person can't talk, it doesn't mean they can't communicate.

Myth #5: Autism is the result of bad or neglectful parenting.

The "refrigerator mother" myth has been around for some time, and I'm actually surprised it still exists. Almost every parent of a child with autism I've met is very kind, loving, and incredibly patient. They also spend much of their time feeling needlessly guilty about their child's autism, so this myth is less than helpful.

Myth #6: If you have autism, you can repeat the whole phone book or know what day of the week April 23 will fall on in four years.

While most children with autism are very smart, an autistic savant is rare. We can all thank the movie Rainman for this little myth. So in the future, please do not ask a mom to get her kid to perform parlor tricks for you.

Myth #7: Children with autism do not want friends.

All children want friends. Some can show this in a better way than others, but I think all children want a friend. A lot of kids with autism just can't figure out how to go about it.

Myth #8: Kids with autism don't get their feelings hurt.

If you've ever seen my son's face after a kid has refused to play with him, you'd know this is not true. They might not get mad and yell at someone, or sit down and cry over it, but it's just as easy to hurt a child-with-autism's feelings as any other. Please remind your children to be kind.

Myth #9: Better discipline would get their acts together.

Boy, do I love that one! I've been told on many occasions that all I need to do is



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