Okay, let’s shoot down some myths. I know I have gone over some of these before, but I think it’s time to bring these things up again.
- Autism Is Caused By the Mother – This is an earlier, now-disproven hypothesis concerning the concept of the “refrigerator mother” made up by psychology. The theory was that autism and schizophrenia were caused by a lack of affection from the parents. I can tell you personally this was not my mother’s case.
- Autism Is A Fate Worse Than Death – People often feel that having any condition that deviates from the norm of those in power is a negative. I personally do not feel that. It’s as damaging as saying that deafness is worse than death, or having dark skin is worse than death. People think that happiness is defined in the absence of struggle, which I can also tell you, is not true.
- The Struggle of Autism is Too Great for Any Success to Come – One of the falsehoods that seems to not be discussed as much as accepted. This is often applied to any deviation from those in power.
- Autistic People Are All The Same – No, we might have a few things in common, but it’s just plain stupid to think that a person is exactly like your relative/friend of a friend who has autism. They usually do not even like the same things.
- Autistic People Will Never Fit In Anywhere – Funny; I guess it blows their minds when people with autism suddenly fit in with
- Autistic People Are All Math and Science Geeks – My math calculation absolutely SUCKS. We’re not all rejects from the Big Bang Theory. (Are any of those characters autistic? I have no evidence of this.)
- Autistic People Are Too Dumb to Know They’re Being Made Fun Of – This is a common stereotype among bullies. I happen to personally believe bullies are evil. I knew I was being bullied from first grade until high school graduation. It took an apology from one of the bullies for me to even begin accepting their Facebook friendship.
- Autistic People Are Sameness-Crazy – We may find comfort in our routines, but I personally will attest to the fact that I get bored very easily if the routines are too much the same. I will not throw a temper tantrum if the furniture is not in the exact same spot, for example.
- Autism is a Guy Thing – Yes, there are more boys than girls, but the trouble in believing that stereotype is that it renders autism Women (like me) absolutely invisible – to diagnosis, treatment and other aid.
- Autistic People Are All Savants – No, I have only heard this of myself and a few others. However, I have not heard this much from the autistic community itself.
- Autistic People are Unlovable – This is more of an attitude than a general stereotype. “I love my child but hate his autism” is a common statement among autism parents. I know my autism did not make me pleasant, but it is a part of who I am. Love and accept your child the way they are, not as you wish they were.
Perhaps all these myths and bad attitudes are the reason people think autism is a fate worse than death. I am doing fine with autism, thank you. I want to go back to school and become a psychologist.