According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) "Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is the name for a group of developmental disorders. ASD includes a wide range, “a spectrum,” of symptoms, skills, and levels of disability." Some of the symptoms of ASD are issues with conventional communication skills, and repetitive behaviors and limited interests in topics and activities. ASD usually becomes apparent within the first two years of a person's life and can complicate a person's ability to function socially; at work, school, or in personal relationships.
Myth: Vaccines cause Autism
Fact: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "Studies have shown that there is no link between receiving vaccines and developing ASD. In 2011, an Institute of Medicine (IOM) report on eight vaccines given to children and adults found that with rare exceptions, these vaccines are very safe." For more information visit the CDC website
Myth: People with Autism Spectrum Disorder don't feel emotions
Fact: A common misconception about people who have been diagnosed with ASD is that they don't feel emotions or have empathy for others, like the character of Spock from Star Trek. This is untrue, the individual with ASD may just express themselves in a different way. Read more here at the Scientific American.
Myth: ADHD and Autism are related or the same
Fact: While both ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder have many similar symptoms like hyperactivity and poor social skills they are two separate diagnosis. However, it is possible to have both disorders at the same time. For more information read this article from ADDitudemag.com
Myth: ASD symptoms get worse as a child gets older
Fact: The symptoms of ASD typically remain stable and unchanged as a child develops. It is possible for symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder to improve with effective treatment and learned coping skills. To learn more about this visit Spectrum.org
Myth: Bad Parenting or parental behavior causes Autism Spectrum Disorder
Fact: According to the Johns Hopkins School of Education, “Parents do not and cannot cause autism spectrum disorders. Although the multiple causes of all autism spectrum disorders are not known, it IS known that parental behavior before, during and after pregnancy does not cause autism spectrum disorders to develop.” For more information visit the Johns Hopkins website