Common Misconceptions About Autism

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All autistic individuals possess special skills and genius abilities (e.g., able to memorize license plates, complete complicated mental math, exceptional musical / art skills)


Although the autistic individual depicted in the movie’Rainman’possessed special abilities, the vast majority of autistic people do not. Autistic individuals who possess ‘genius’ abilities are often called ’savants’ or & ‘autistic savants’. Approximately 50 percent of all savants have autism, while only about five-to-ten percent of autistic individuals possess extraordinary savant skills. However, most autistic individuals display uneven or scattered skill development (e.g., do better on nonverbal tasks, motor tasks and concrete tasks). Additionally, most autistic individuals display significant cognitive / intellectual impairments.


All autistic individuals are withdrawn, avoid eye contact, engage in self injurious behaviour, rock, spin objects and avoid affection.


Individuals with autism tend to be diverse. Therefore, it is difficult to use words such as all or none when describing this group. Some autistic individuals engage in eye contact while others enjoy tickles and hugs. However, not all engage in rocking, spinning or self abusive behaviour.

Autistic people have a great deal of trouble understanding things in the social environment. This includes both understanding of social cues and conventions, and understanding language. (The primary difference between Autistic Disorder and Aspergers Syndrome is that those with Aspergers are defined to have less severe communication problems and no speech delays.)

Autistic people lack normal non-verbal communication and body language, and may thus seem more literal minded or unemotional than they actually are.

Many autistic people have other communication difficulties, such as trouble remembering vocabulary, or trouble pronouncing words. Some may have Apraxia of Speech, meaning difficulty coordinating speech movements. Others have characteristics of speech disorders called aphasias. Some autistic people may be mute, or may occasionally lose the ability to speak. Some may have odd pronunciation, inflection, or vocal qualities. Many autistic people may pause and need extra time to process verbal comments or questions, and to formulate replies. Repeating things that have been heard (echolalia), is not uncommon, nor is repeating ones own words.

Autism Is Not …..

  • Autism is not mental retardation. Some autistic people may be very intelligent.There is a lot of evidence that Albert Einstein may have been autistic.
  • Autism is not ’savant’ syndrome. Some autistic people are &savants(e.g., instant calculator, etc.) but most are not. Other autistic people are ‘gifted’,however, and have high ‘general’ intelligence. Many autistic people have normal intelligence, and some may be retarded.
  • Autism is not an emotional problem. Autism is a neurological condition which people are usually born with. Psychological trauma doesn’t cause it.
  • Autism is not a psychosis or lack of reality contact.
  • Autism is not ‘a fate worse than death’ Autistic people have some disadvantages, but some live very happy and rewarding lives.

Types Of Autism Spectrum Disorder

There are four main sub-types of Autism Spectrum Disorder

  1. Autism
  2. Asperger Syndrome
  3. Childhood Disintegrative Disorder
  4. Pervasive Developmental Disorder

Rett syndrome is no longer considered to be a sub-type of autism, although individuals with Rett syndrome may display autistic-like symptoms.

The term ‘autism’ is sometimes used interchangeably with the term ‘autism spectrum disorders’ to mean any or all of the different forms of ASD.

Autism is a form of autism spectrum disorder .Each person with autism is a unique individual, with his or her own strengths and weaknesses.Some people with autism have extremely good memories or are good at paying attention to detail.However most people with autism also find it difficult to talk to other people or to make friends. Some may not even be able to talk at all.People with autism tend to have poor coordination and concentration and they usually have a limited range of interests. And they may do things or say things over and over again.Sometimes people with autism behave oddly. For example they may flap their hands or repeat words over and over again. They may also develop obsessional interests.Some people with autism have other disabling conditions, such as a learning disability or epilepsy.

Asperger Syndrome is a form of autism spectrum disorder .Each person with Asperger syndrome is a unique individual, with his or her own strengths and weaknesses.Some people with Asperger syndrome have extremely good memories or are good at paying attention to detail. And many have average or above average intelligence.However most people with Asperger syndrome also find it difficult to talk to other people or to make friends.They also tend to have poor coordination and concentration and they usually have a limited range of interests. And they may do things or say things over and over again.They may also find it difficult to find a job or to get by without some help from other people.Upto Now there is no Specific cure for Asperger syndrome but there are some treatments and therapies (interventions) which can help solve some of the problems faced by people with Asperger syndrome and their families.

Childhood Disintegrative Disorder is an extremely rare form of Autism Spectrum Disorder .It is also known as CDD, dementia infantalis, disintegrative psychosis or Heller’s syndromeChildren with CDD appear to develop normally until the age of two.After that they go backwards, losing many of the skills they had before, such as the ability to walk or talk.They also share some of the symptoms of people with autismFor example, they may have difficulty with social interaction, communication, repetitive behaviors or interests.

Pervasive Developmental Disorder (Not Otherwise Specified) is a form of Autism Spectrum Disorder.It is also known as PDD (NOS) or atypical autism.It is used to describe people who don’t fit neatly into one of the specific kinds of Autism Spectrum Disorder, such as Autism or Asperger syndromeIndividuals with this condition are more likely to have other conditions such as epilepsy

What Is Autism

Autism is known as a complex developmental disability. Experts believe that Autism presents itself during the first three years of a person’s life. The condition is the result of a neurological disorder that has an effect on normal brain function, affecting development of the person’s communication and social interaction skills.


ASD stands for Autism Spectrum Disorder and can sometimes be referred to as Autistic Spectrum Disorder. In this text Autism and ASD mean the same. ASDs are any developmental disabilities that have been caused by a brain abnormality. A person with an ASD typically has difficulty with social and communication skills.A person with ASD will typically also prefer to stick to a set of behaviors and will resist any major (and many minor) changes to daily activities. Several relatives and friends of people with ASDs have commented that if the person knows a change is coming in advance, and has time to prepare for it; the resistance to the change is either gone completely or is much lower.Autism (or ASD) is a wide-spectrum disorder. This means that no two people with autism will have exactly the same symptoms. As well as experiencing varying combinations of symptoms, some people will have mild symptoms while others will have severe ones. Below is a list of the most commonly found characteristics identified among people with an ASD.