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Assumptions about ASD, Autism Spectrum Disorder 

As a parent of a child with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) I understand the difficult emotions that families go through when their child is diagnosed. This is an extremely anxious time for parents who want nothing but the best for their kids. There is so much information out there it can be a little overwhelming. Unfortunately as the number of people being diagnosed has increased so has the amount of misinformation on autism spectrum disorders which only adds to the anxiety and confusion.

Below I will look at some common assumptions and whether they are true or false.

True, ASD is more common in boys than girls. Autism statistics show that four times as many boys, than girls are diagnosed with the disorder. One of the reasons is that autism spectrum signs in girls are often overlooked when it comes to being diagnosed due to parents and teachers not recognising the signs. This is due to the fact that most studies on the signs of Autism in the 1930s/40s were conducted only on boys. They concluded that a child with Autism would be socially withdrawn and obsessed with technical things; children who did not have these characteristics were either misdiagnosed, or simply slipped through the cracks.

False, Autism can be cured. Autism is a lifelong disorder and the sooner your family commit to this reality the better for your loved one. Children who are identified early and receive intervention, such as Applied Behavior Analysis, may have excellent outcomes. Their symptoms can change over time as they develop and respond to intervention. This early intervention is critical for people living with autism; it provides them with the best possible opportunity to live independent, productive and meaningful lives.

True, People with ASD find it hard to understand other people’s thoughts and feelings. People on the autism spectrum typically have difficulty in understanding another person’s point of view and feelings. This can make it very hard for them to navigate the social world.

False, People with ASD all have below average intelligence. This could not be further from the truth. While some children and adults on the autism spectrum have mild to severe intellectual impairment, the intellectual functioning of others is within, and in some cases above, the normal range. One rule I have learned on my journey as a parent of autism is to always assume your child can hear and understand everything you are saying. Their body might not give this impression but they may be fully cognitively aware. Children/Teenagers on the autism spectrum have difficulties in coping with everyday situations which can lead to them not achieving their full potential when it comes to education.

False, People with ASD (autism) always prefer being alone. That is most likely a myth, people on the autism spectrum would love to make friends and have the company of others, and the problem is they have difficulties in making this happen. Socializing can sometimes be scary for people living with autism.

This is just a few of many assumptions associated with autism. The science and medical world have made great progress over the last 20 years when it comes to understanding autism. However autism is still very much a mystery in many aspects.