I have often come across a lot of information on autism I found out later to be false or untrue. I do not usually blame people who peddle such falsehood about the condition because just like me, they lack the right information to debunk what they have been taught.
Hence, on World Autism Awareness Day, this article hopes to highlight some myths and stereotypes on autism to educate people on the condition.
Autism is not a curse from the devil or a bewitchment from an evil witch, but a developmental disability that remains with a person their whole life. This condition affects the brain’s functions and the first signs usually appear before a child is three years old.
People with autism often: find social interaction difficult; have problems with verbal and non-verbal communication; demonstrate restrictive and repetitive behaviour; Have a limited set of interests and activities.
People tend to think it only affects people of a certain race. It is false because children of all races are vulnerable or susceptible to the condition regardless of their geographical location. The condition is also a no respecter of gender, thus children of both sexes could suffer from the condition.
Children with autism can lead a normal life and acquire education just like any other child. Parents can send them to a specialized school and care for them by being referred to doctors who specialize in providing behavioural, psychological, educational, or skill-building interventions.
Parents can also help autistic children by reading and learning more about treatment options, diet and other basic information on children who are autistic.
No, it is not a punishment for a crime or something a parent has done. It is a medical condition that could happen to anyone, regardless of who they are.
The condition is also considered as a “spectrum” disorder because there is wide variation in the type and severities of symptoms people experience. There are no known causes of the condition.
It is also not true autistic children are intellectually disabled. Although the condition has its own exceptional disabilities, an autistic child could have normal to high IQ.
Children with autism grow up to become adults with autism. It is not a condition they can simply grow out of in adulthood.
Remember to always be kind to persons living with autism and treat them with the respect they deserve. #Staysafe