As information about autism continues to spread, so do the myths on autism. There are many myths about autism; these myths are harmful, misleading and stigmatizing. It is important to demystify these myths to encourage parents of autistic children to seek treatment and eliminate stigma associated with autism.
1. Vaccines Cause Autism
There are a lot of rumors which suggest that vaccine overload weakens a child’s immune system which eventually leads to developmental abilities such as Autism. However, extensive research shows no relationship between vaccines and autism. Autism is a group of disorders that has many causes such as genetics, developmental and environmental factors. Many people associate autism with bad parenting and psychosis.
2. Autistic People Lack Empathy and Affection
Some people believe that autistic black girls have little or no emotions. Interestingly, people with autism can feel all emotions like their peers with no developmental disabilities. The only challenge would be expressing their emotions and the inability to make relationships and connections. Black autistic girls may also struggle to understand other people’s emotions towards them. Research shows that therapy helps autistic people to be in touch with their emotions hence the ability to create and maintain relationships.
3. Autism can be cured
There is no scientific evidence which indicates that black autistic girls can be cured. Although there is no cure for autism, there are various intervention strategies that can be used to manage symptoms in an autistic girl. Some of these strategies include speech therapy, behavior therapy and occupational therapy. These therapies are given based on the severity of autism.
4. Autistic People are Antisocial
Black girls with ASD may be considered as antisocial because of they interact differently unlike their peers with no developmental disabilities. Sometimes, people with ASD prefer segregating themselves due to sensory sensitivities or stigma. This may often be mistaken as being anti-social. Autistic people have the ability to interact with others and participate in activities such as sports, music and theatre. Girls with ASD have a problem with reading and understanding non-verbal cues such as body language, tone and facial expressions.
5. All People with Autism are Alike
Some people believe that all autistic people behave the same. This is not true and cannot be proven scientifically. The diagnosis, severity and treatment of autism vary from one person to another. Autistic girls may show different symptoms from autistic boys. Children with autism on the other hand, may behave differently from adults with autism. Treatment options are also different based on the severity and financial capabilities of parents with autistic girls.