According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 1 in 44 children (or 2.3%) has been identified as having autism spectrum disorder. However, in spite of its prevalence and growing awareness of autism among the general public, there are still a lot of lingering misconceptions about autism and the people who live with it. In this article, we'll dive into a few of the more common myths and set the record straight.
Myth #1: Autism is caused by vaccines.
The idea that autism spectrum disorder is caused by the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine originated in an article published in 1998. Since then, the paper has been retracted by the journal that published it, and the author's medical license was revoked for deliberately falsifying information. It has been described as "one of the most serious frauds in medical history."
More recently, numerous studies have been conducted that have debunked the connection between autism and vaccines.
Myth #2: People with autism can't lead normal lives.
As with any other developmental disorder, autism varies widely in terms of its symptoms and severity (hence its characterization as a "spectrum"). Some people may experience symptoms that impede their ability to function in school, work, or other areas of life. However, there are also plenty of other autistic individuals with successful careers and relationships, or who only require minimal support. These individuals are often referred to as having "high-functioning autism."
Myth #3: People with autism are more violent.
There is no evidence to support the idea that people with autism spectrum disorder are more violent than non-autistic individuals. Although it is true that some individuals with autism spectrum disorder may have aggressive tendencies, researchers suspect that other factors (such as adverse childhood experiences) are at work in this relatively small subgroup.
Envision Unlimited is dedicated to helping people with disabilities live happy, fulfilled lives in their communities. Our offerings, which include specialized foster care, day programs, employment services, and accredited applied behavioral analysis (ABA) therapy, are designed to address the unique needs of each of our clients, regardless of age, background, or ability. Our services are grounded in a spirit of advocacy and empowerment—we believe that all individuals are capable of living successful lives if given the right opportunity.