4 Fast Facts About Autism
Autism is a group of complex disorder of brain development that affects 1 in 68 American children. Despite the prevalence, autism is not well understood. Many misconceptions still permeate our thinking to this day. Misconceptions can lead to feelings of isolation, blame, and, in some cases ineffective therapeutic treatments.
1. Does My Child Care About Others?
Yes -- Children and adults on the autism spectrum can care deeply, but lack the ability to express their feelings or interpret the feelings of others.
2. Will Using Assistive Technology Reduce Speech?
No – Quite the opposite, using alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) approaches enhance, expand and develop communication skills.
Because of fears that AAC will impede speech development, there is a mistaken belief that AAC should be introduced only after giving up all hope on development of natural speech. This should not happen! For children with ASD, AAC should not be viewed as a wholesale replacement for natural speech, but rather as a supplement or alternative means to provide functional communication access as natural speech development is pursued. The choice is NOT BETWEEN AAC or “natural” speech, but how to use AAC to maximally support development of natural speech and effective communication.
Missouri Assistive Technology Advisory Council - http://at.mo.gov/information-resources-publications/documents/Autism.pdf
3. Is Autism Caused by Bad Parenting?
No -- Parents do not cause their children to have autism! Although the causes of autism are still unknown, we do know that parental behavior before, during and after pregnancy does not cause autism.
4. Does My Child Want to be Alone?
No -- Individuals on the spectrum often want to make friends, socialize and be part of a group, however they often lack the skills to develop effective social relationships. The good news is that social skills can be taught.