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Autism Myths

Learn the truth behind common autism myths from Dr. Kimberly Williams in this Howcast video.


There are a lot of different myths that exist regarding autism. So I'd like to talk about three that I hear quite frequently. The first one is that children with autism don't show affection. The next one is that children with autism can't learn, and finally that children with autism cannot have successful, independent and productive lives.

First of all, regarding autism and affection. Yes, children with autism often have trouble communicating and socializing with peers. This doesn't mean that a child who has autism can't appreciate, love, and even seek out a hug, or a kiss, or a wonderful embrace from a parent, peer or sibling.

So there's also the myth that children with autism cannot learn. Children with autism can often have very exceptional IQ's. Sometimes children with autism have what we call splinter skills, in which they're exceptional or extraordinary on a subject such as math or science, where they may have difficulty tying their shoes. In order to help children facilitate their learning, what's needed are very special remediation programs, sometimes in reading and writing, or speech and language, and occupational therapy. But over time, in the right environment and in the right circumstances with the correct and proper professionals, children with autism can learn.

Finally, this lets us know that they can go on to have successful lives in many different ways. Children with autism have so many different capabilities. And it really is a broad spectrum of their abilities. Children with autism can learn to live independently. They can learn how to handle finances and how to work in many different professional settings.

So these are the three most common misconceptions about children with autism.

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