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The Myths About Autism Spectrum Disorders

Myth #4: Everyone Who Has a Symptom of an ASD Has an ASD

If a person has one or two characteristics of an ASD, it does not necessarily mean he has an ASD. It is the number and severity of behavioral characteristics in the areas of social interaction, communication, and repetitive stereotypical behaviors that causes concern. That is why it is important to consult with a medical professional who is familiar with ASD.

Myth #5: There Is No Cure for (or Recovery from) ASD

Tremendous advances have been made in the field of ASD over the last decade. Granted, there is still no magic pill that cures everyone. However, there are cases of children who were diagnosed as clearly having ASD, and who are now considered to be neurotypical or symptom-free by professionals thanks to interventions they have received. Some of these cases have been documented in books (Let Me Hear Your Voice by Catherine Maurice; The Sound of a Miracle by Annabel Stehli). There are also accounts written by people who have recovered significantly from ASD (Nobody Nowhere and Somebody Somewhere by Donna Williams; Emergence: Labeled Autistic by Temple Grandin and Margaret M. Scariano; Thinking in Pictures by Temple Grandin). Recovery means that they have to have overcome some of the symptoms they had that made it difficult for them to live full and successful lives in a world created by neurotypicals.

Myth #6: People with ASD Have No Emotions and Do Not Get Attached to Other People

It is true that many people with an ASD show emotions in a different way from neurotypicals. However, just because a person does not show emotions in the way we are used to seeing them exhibited does not mean that they don't have feelings. One only has to read accounts by people with autism to realize that some individuals express emotions differently (Nobody Nowhere by Donna Williams) or are unable to show emotion at all because they are not in control of their muscles or motor planning (The Mind Tree by Tito Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay). It is very clear from reading books by people with autism (Your Life Is Not a Label by Jerry Newport; Pretending to Be Normal by Liane Holliday Willey) that they are capable of forming attachments with other people, and do so. Some people with autism date, get married, and have children, just as we do. Perhaps they are less expressive than others about their feelings, but that does not mean they are not attached to others."

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Excerpted from Autism Spectrum Disorders: The Complete Guide to Understanding Autism, Asperger's Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, and Other ASDs©2004 by Chantal Sicile-Kira. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

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