There are many myths surrounding autism, especially when it comes to children. Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that stems from a neurological difference, with characteristics that can greatly vary from one child to another. Throughout the years, these gaps of knowledge have given birth to a number of misconceptions ranging from everyday living to parenting and relationships for autistic children. Below you can learn more about the five most popular myths and what is the actual truth behind them.
1. Children With Autism Don’t Need Equipment to Help Them
Actually, they do. Almost all children with autism need supportive equipment to help them communicate and feel safe. It can also be vitally important to encourage social development as it helps children and their families access the community. Examples of assistive equipment include visual timers and sensory toys.
2. They Don’t Need to Play Like Other Children
Wrong. All kids need different types of sensory stimulation and toys to have fun, develop their imagination, and sharpen their skills. Autistic children are no different. You just have to find items that meet each kid’s special needs. There isn’t a universal toy or technology that would work for any child. Parents and family as a whole should test different toys and options to see which ones are most engaging to the child.
3. They Have to Go to a Special School for Kids With Autism
Although difficulties with social interaction, sensory sensitivity, and highly-focused interests are all common traits of children with autism, it’s not always necessary for them to enroll in a special school. Wherever possible, it’s actually advisable to integrate the kids into mainstream schools. This could help them develop their communication skills while also accommodating their schooling needs.
4. They Won’t Be Independent Adults
While autism affects each person differently, many children grow up to become independent adults — finding stable jobs and integrating within the community. It can be difficult for parents to imagine their child becoming an independent adult with autism, but there are plenty of examples that prove that autistic adults live full lives. Since people with autism love routine and repetitive behaviors, they often manage to reach a great level of independence.
5. They Can’t Form Relationships/Fall in Love
It’s possible, and it happens to many autistic people! Although autistic children tend to struggle with relationships and keep to themselves, many autistic adults fall in love, get married, and have families of their own. Much like anyone else, they just need time to grow, develop, and meet the right person.