Ten Myths and Facts About Children With Autism In Mississauga

Parents of children with autism in Mississauga often need to clear up some misconceptions about neurodiversity to friends and family (as well as their child’s teachers). Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex neuro-developmental condition, that comes with its own set of myths. To facilitate understanding and acceptance, it’s crucial to debunk (and provide correction) to these false ideas that surround the condition.

Here are ten common myths and the facts. Our Mississauga autism centre has put these together to provide a more informed and inclusive perspective on autism that parents can have at the ready when awkward questions arise.

Myth: Autism Can Be “Cured”
Fact: Simply put, there is no cure for autism. However, it can be managed effectively. Intervention early on with the right therapeutic approach can significantly improve a child’s development and have a big impact on their quality of life.

Myth:  There Is A Lack Of Empathy In People with Autism
Fact: Children with autism may show their empathy in a different way. They might not mourn or express distress in a manner that you immediately recognize, but the feelings are there. Parents need to understand that these children are fully capable of experiencing emotions. Anyone spending time with your child will eventually learn to appreciate and recognize their unique ways of expressing empathy.

Myth: Only Children Are Autistic
Fact: Autism is not something you grow out of—it is a lifelong condition. Its impact extends into adulthood, manifesting in behaviour that might seem antisocial to the uninformed. Ongoing support and understanding is crucial for individuals with autism throughout their lives.

Myth: Autism Is A Rare Condition

Fact: You’re not alone. Autism is more common than you might think. According to the CDC, approximately 1 in 50 children is diagnosed with autism in the Canada, emphasizing the prevalence of this spectrum disorder. That’s roughly one child per two classrooms in school.

Myth: Children With Autism Have Savant Abilities

Fact: It’s true that while some children with autism are exceptional in specific areas—not everyone with autism possesses savant abilities (that can be immediately recognized). This is why it is important to expose your child to as many activities as possible in the early stages. You never know what gifts a child might possess until you’ve tried the full range—from music, to drawing, to memorizing complex details or schedules.  Autism is a spectrum, and strengths and abilities vary widely among individuals.

Myth: Autism Can Be Blamed On Bad Parenting

Fact: Autism is genetic. It is a neurodevelopmental condition that is more dependant on nature than nurture. Parenting practices do not cause autism. Debunking this myth is a crucial step towards acceptance and support for both individuals with autism and their families.

Myth: Children With Autism Are Non-Verbal

Fact: This is only true in some cases. While some individuals with autism may face communication challenges, many are verbal and communicate effectively. Again, it’s a spectrum, and it has a wide range of communication abilities.

Myth: Vaccines Lead To Autism

Fact: This is a misnomer based on one, widely debunked report. Scientific research has consistently disproved the myth that vaccines cause autism. Autism has a strong genetic component, and vaccines are important. They are essential for preventing serious diseases.

Myth: Autism Only Affects Boys

Fact: While autism is more commonly found in boys, it also affects girls. Females with autism may simply exhibit different social behaviors, often leading to underdiagnosis or misdiagnosis.

Myth: Children with Autism Do Not Seek Social Connection

Fact: Social interactions can be challenging for children with autism. This is not to say that they don’t desire connection however. It’s just harder for them to build up a common understanding. Facilitating a supportive environment and being mindful of delicate social nuances can help a parent foster meaningful connections.

Parents of children with autism in Mississauga can help to dispel some of the myths surrounding the condition to foster a more understanding and inclusive society. Armed with the facts, it’s possible to promote awareness and contribute to creating an environment where individuals with autism are accepted for who they are, without any backwards misconceptions.