Autism affects one in every 100 people yet for all the lives touched by autism there are still a lot of persistent myths about what the lifelong and disabling condition actually is, and what living with it is really like.
Misconceptions such as autism only affects children or that all people with the condition are geniuses can have a damaging effect on the lives of people living with autism, making it more difficult to have their condition recognised and to access the support they need. SASI primarily supports teenagers and adults with high needs autism and in the course of that work on helping they encourage participants to develop by providing opportunities to join mainstream community activities. Sadly, in the course of this work, they are often confronted with myths about autism.
In 2012 the National Autistic Society in the UK launched a campaign to dispel common myths surrounding autism and to raise general awareness of the condition.
SASI thinks that is a great idea and will be running its own social media campaign over the next ten months to set the record straight about autism myths and facts, culminating in an event on World Autism Day on 2 April 2014.
Autism myths and facts
Autism myth no. 1
A person with autism can never learn new skills. FACT. With the right help and support a person with autism can make progress and reach their potential.
Autism myth no. 2
All people with autism are good at maths, art and music. FACT. People with autism will often learn a lot about a topic they’re fascinated with & be perceived as experts.
Autism myth no. 3
After being supported through school, people with autism instantly adapt to adult life. FACT. Many young people with autism find it difficult to imagine life beyond school & what being in a workplace will involve.
Autism myth no. 4
You can only be diagnosed with autism as a child. FACT. Autism affects adults as well as children. People with the condition can be diagnosed at any age.