Human psychology is a weird thing… We are not afraid of the darkness itself, but afraid of what could be hidden in it. We are not afraid of height but we are afraid to be fallen and die. When you learn the subject of your fears, the reasons and the nature, you get more comfortable with them. Learning is a way to better understand human’s nature… How much do regular people know about autism? And, what exactly do they know about it? You will be surprised with the answers. Regular people, those young adults and passers-by you meet everyday in the streets, don’t have a complete picture of autism in their minds. That’s why, when it comes to employing people with autism, many employers make their decisions according to their incomplete and not always accurate facts about autism.
Autism is not a label. People with autism deserve to be included into the workforce, gain education, train their strengths and use their talents.
Myths and True Facts About Autism:
Fact#1. Autism is a comparatively new disorder.
The word “autism” has been in use for 100 years and means “self” (from Greek “autos”). Eugen Bleuler, a Swiss psychiatrist, was the first person who used this term. He started using it around 1911 to refer to one group of symptoms of schizophrenia. The US researchers have been using the term “autism” since 1940s, in regards to children with emotional or social problems. At about the same time, a German scientist, Hans Asperger, identified a similar condition that’s now called Asperger’s syndrome.
Fact #2. Since 1960s researchers began to have a separate understanding of autism from schizophrenia.
Myth #3. People with Autism will never change and never become independent.
Fact: Autism is not a stable condition. It may produce positive or negative changes over time. Many parents see improvement in their children with intensive treatment and within years. Yet, other children develop epilepsy or seizure-like brain activity. Throughout their lives, people with an ASD will require support (and in some cases a supportive environment), yet eventually many are able to work and even live independently.
Myth #4. Autism can be cured.
Fact: There is no cure from autism exists. According to Wikipedia: “While studies show that autism is highly heritable, researchers suspect both environmental and genetic factors as causes of autism. However, early intervention and intensive therapy can improve the symptoms.”
Myth #5. Individuals with autism are violent.
Fact: Violent acts from individuals who have autism are usually caused by sensory overload or emotional distress. It is unusual for them to act violently out of malice or pose any danger to society.
Myth #6. People with autism are mentally disabled.
Fact: People with autism are unique and have a large variety of intellectual abilities. Language and interpersonal analysis tests may misinterpret the intellectual abilities of those with autism; however, they can easily master complex and difficult tasks.
Myth #7. People with autism are cold and don’t care about the others.
Fact: People with autism fall in love, have children and care about their families and beloved ones just like other people. But they may express their feelings in ways that are harder to recognize.
Myth #8. All people with ASD are the same.
Fact: Each person with ASD is a unique individual. Autistic people differ as much from one another as do all people.
Myth #9. People with autism don’t want to get social.
Fact: People with autism want to have friends very much. They have a lack of social skills and social awareness. E.g.: it’s hard for them to look into the eyes, read social cues, etc. They just need to develop these social skills to react adequately on someone’s sadness, irritation and other emotions.
Myth #10. There is nothing one person can do to help eliminate the barriers confronting people with disabilities.
Fact: There is a lot everyone can do for people with autism and other disabilities: accepting them, hiring qualified disabled individuals whenever possible, understanding their needs. We should remember that all of us have the same rights, deserve to be happy, have families, friends, hobbies, jobs and opportunities for a better future.