Statistics reveal that one in 68 children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, meaning there is a good chance that you know someone on the autism spectrum. While many people think they know what autism is, there are still a lot of myths and misconceptions about it. This blog post will dispel some common myths about people with autism and give you a better understanding of this condition.
People with autism can make eye contact
Some people with autism avoid making eye contact, but this is not true for everyone on the spectrum. Many people with autism can create and maintain eye contact. If you know someone with autism who doesn’t make eye contact, it may be because they find it uncomfortable or trying to avoid stimming. Stimming is a self-stimulatory behavior that people with autism often do to cope with anxiety or sensory overload. More often than not, people with autism are not avoiding eye contact because they don’t want to talk to you. They just find it challenging to make and maintain eye contact.
Fortunately, some specific treatments and therapies can help reduce stimming behaviors. In this case, explore the internet, where you may find the Autism Parenting Magazine, which features some treatments that can help with stimming. For instance, one of the therapies is called Applied Behavioral Analysis, which is a type of therapy that is based on the principles of operant conditioning. You can also learn about other therapies and treatments from this resource.
People with autism can be verbal
While some people with autism are nonverbal, this is not true for everyone on the spectrum. Many people with autism can speak and communicate their needs. However, some people with autism may have difficulty communicating in a way that is easy for neurotypical people to understand because people with autism often think in pictures rather than words. Hence, they may struggle to express their thoughts and ideas in words.
Nevertheless, there are many ways to communicate with someone who has difficulty using spoken language. One way is to use picture cards or boards, which can help people with autism express their needs. Another way is to use augmentative and alternative communication devices, such as iPads, with apps that allow people to communicate by typing or selecting pre-made phrases. Others use sign language specific to people with autism, called PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System). You may consider learning some basic signs or words to communicate better with someone with autism.
People with autism can feel empathy
Just because someone has autism doesn’t mean they don’t feel empathy. Many people with autism are very compassionate and caring individuals. They may have a complex time understanding or expressing emotions, but that doesn’t mean they don’t care about others. The truth is that these people often feel things very deeply. They just have trouble understanding and expressing their emotions in a typical way. For example, someone with autism may not cry when they see someone else crying, but this doesn’t mean they don’t feel empathy or compassion for the other person. It just means they express their emotions differently. In this case, they may show kindness by trying to comfort the other person in a non-verbal way.
People with autism can be successful
Despite the challenges that come with autism, many people with this condition lead successful and fulfilling lives. People with autism can thrive in school, work, and relationships with the proper support and resources. Many famous people with autism, such as Temple Grandin, an autistic animal scientist who has made significant contributions to the livestock industry, became successful. There are also many successful entrepreneurs with autism, such as Alex Plank, the founder of Wrong Planet, a website and online community for people with autism. These examples show that people with autism can succeed in various fields.
People with autism are not all geniuses
While some people with autism are geniuses, this is not true for all of them. Autism spectrum disorder affects people of all intelligence levels. Some people with autism may have an intellectual disability, while others may be considered geniuses. People with autism tend to excel in certain areas, such as music or mathematics. Music, in particular, is a common interest among people with autism because it is often very structured and predictable, which can be calming for people with autism. Meanwhile, mathematics is often a strength for people with autism because it is a highly logical subject. However, just because someone has autism does not mean they are a genius. Usually, people with autism are of average or above-average intelligence.
People with autism can be sensitive to particular sensory input
Many people with autism are sensitive to certain types of sensory input, such as loud noises, bright lights, or certain textures, because their nervous system is often hypersensitive. As a result, they may avoid certain activities or environments that are overwhelming for their senses. For example, someone with autism may not like going to crowded places because the noise and commotion can be too much for them. Or, they may prefer to wear soft clothes because they find scratchy fabrics irritating. Some people with autism may also have sensory processing disorders, making everyday activities even more challenging.
Overall, just as every neurotypical person is unique, every person with autism is also remarkable, meaning people with this condition can have varying strengths and weaknesses. For example, some people with autism may be great at math but struggle with social skills. Others may be excellent at art or music but have difficulty reading or writing. The best way to get to know someone with autism is to spend time with them and learn about their strengths and interests. This way, you can better understand how they see the world and how to best communicate with them.
These are just a few things you may not have known about people with autism. Understanding and educating yourself about this condition can help create a more inclusive and supportive world for those who live with it. When you take the time to learn about something, it shows that you care. And that’s what all people need a little more of in this world.