Autism Facts and Myths

myths

Here are a few facts and myths about autism (ASD):

There is a lot of information available online about autism. Some of it is factual. Some of it is a myth. Some of it is true for some individuals but not for others. As is commonly said in the autism community, “if you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.”  Autism Empowerment hopes that when you separate the myths from the facts, the truth for your individual situation will become more clear.

Autism Facts & Stats

  • Autism is a neurological disorder.
  • Autism now affects at least 1 in 68 children: 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls (CDC Stats from 2010) – These new statistics just came out from CDC on 3/27/14.
  • ASDs occur among all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups.
  • ASDs are almost five times more common among

    boys than among girls.

  • Referrals for diagnosis for girls however are closer to 10 to 1. (Meaning many girls are not getting referred early enough to benefit from early intervention.)

  • While there is no medical detection or known cure for autism, many children have shown significant improvement resulting from early diagnosis and use of effective interventions.
  • In addition to medical costs, intensive behavioral interventions for children with ASDs can cost $40,000 to $60,000 per child per year.
  • Medical costs for children with ASDs are estimated to be six times higher than for children

    without ASDs.

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Autism Myths

  • Autism is a result of bad parenting or refrigerator moms.
  • Individuals with autism have no sense of humor.
  • Individuals with autism have no empathy or lack feelings.
  • Individuals with autism do not want to communicate.
  • Individuals on the autism spectrum who are non-verbal are intellectually disabled.
  • Individuals on the autism spectrum are autistic savants like Dustin Hoffman’s character in the movie, Rain Man.

Autism Truths

  • Individuals on the Autism Spectrum are not defined by their diagnosis. They are people first and should be treated as such (they are 1 in 1).
  • Autism is a Spectrum Disorder and autism affects each differently. Symptoms can range from mild to severe.
  • Autism affects all social, ethnic and economic classes worldwide but not all boys and girls in each culture are referred at the same ratio.
  • Some individuals with autism prefer being called Autistic. Some prefer Aspie. Some prefer “person with autism”. Respect individual preference.
  • Individuals on the autism spectrum do have feelings, they do show emotion and they do have a sense of humor.
  • There is no one known cause of autism. Medical professionals are working to understand the  neurological disorder.
  • There is no known cure for autism. There are many treatments and therapies that work to help improve many of the conditions associated with autism.
  • Individuals on the autism spectrum need awareness but they especially need acceptance.

References

Health-related material is provided for information purposes only and does not represent endorsement by or an official position of Autism Empowerment. Advice on the treatment or care of an individual patient should be obtained through consultation with a physician who has examined that patient or is familiar with that patient’s medical history.