One in every 68 children has autism in the United States (source). There’s been an increase in diagnosed cases in the United States, almost two times more than 8 years ago. Because the numbers in the rest of the world is not measured, we shouldn’t assume the numbers are the same. We should take a look at the common myths surrounding the condition. Specifically, we’ll look at public perception autistic behaviour and characteristics.

The first misconception we should undo is the notion that people with autism are mentally disabled. There’s no correlation between the two conditions. Autism is a neurological disorder. In broad terms, that means people with autism have problems with :

  • social situations,
  • common social conventions and
  • language difficulties.

Otherwise, their mental capabilities are similar to people without autism.

Because people with autism don’t recognize common social conventions, they react in unpredictable ways when they experience discomfort.  They might over react, which gives rise to the fear that they’re violent and uncontrollable. The difference between a person with autism and you is this; you can judge when a reaction is inappropriate.

Also worth remembering is the fact that autism is a broad spectrum disorder. That means the term autism is an umbrella classification for a broad range of neurological disorders. What’s common is the emotional barrier a person with autism puts up between them and society. With enough effort and patience, you might succeed in tearing the emotional barriers down.

In spite of the emotional barriers, people with autism do have successful careers and long term relationships. Management of the disability takes away most of the difficulties, enabling a productive life. As responsible members of society ourselves, it’s important we understand this disorder as it becomes more common. After all, no two people are the same.