Autism is seriously misunderstood. Autistic people are not especially different from the rest of us, but our misconceptions make them outcasts

 

As the 2nd of April marks World Autism Awareness Day, it is extremely significant to understand why this day exists, what autism is, and what measures we can take in order to help those who face it every day. When it comes to mental disorders, public opinion tends to drown in misconceptions and stereotypes that keep it away from the truth. On this day, I want to make sure that you know what is true and what is false. I dedicate this article to each and every person who is afraid to talk about it — who doesn’t know about it — and who knows someone autistic. Do not be afraid. You are not alone.

What is autism?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders concerning brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive behaviours.

Autism appears to have its roots in very early brain development. However, the most obvious signs and symptoms of autism tend to emerge between the ages of two and three.

For more information, check: https://www.autismspeaks.org/

Myths vs Truth

Myth 1: People with autism don’t want friends.
Truth: Autistic people struggle with social skills, which makes it harder for them to interact with others. However, that does not mean that they don’t want to make friends. Their inability to communicate and sometimes shy character is what keeps them distant.

Myth 2: People with autism will have autism forever.
Truth: Recent studies have proven that children with autism can make enough improvement after intensive early intervention to ‘test out’ of the autism diagnosis.

Myth 3: Autism is just a brain disorder.
Truth: Research has shown that many people with autism also have gastrointestinal disorders, food sensitivities, and many allergies.

Myth 4:People with autism are intellectually disabled.
Truth: Often, autism brings with it just as many exceptional abilities as limitations. Many people with autism have normal to high IQs and some may excel at maths, music or other pursuits.

Myth 5: People with autism can’t feel or express any emotion — happy or sad.
Truth: Autism doesn’t make an individual unable to feel the emotions you feel, it just makes the person communicate emotions (and perceive your expressions) in a different way.

Famous autistic people
As already shown, autistic individuals are not limited. If you look at it differently, they can actually be more gifted than anyone else. While Autism is considered to be a ‘newer condition’, histories and records have revealed that many notable figures in history may have been on the autism spectrum.

1. Albert Einstein
2. Amadeus Mozart
3. Sir Isaac Newton
4. Charles Darwin
5. Michelangelo
6. Andy Warhol
7. Susan Boyle

This, sounds very characteristic of an autistic. It is important to realize that Einstein was very different and it was his difference that enabled him to develop ideas that made him famous. His differences made him the celebrated individual he is today. This should give us a second look at those whom we consider different, and help us to realize that being different is not a bad thing. It is rather, something to be celebrated and accepted.