top of page

04Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

"Autism is known as a “spectrum” disorder because there is wide variation in the type and severity of symptoms people experience.


People of all genders, races, ethnicities, and economic backgrounds can be diagnosed with ASD. Although ASD can be a lifelong disorder, treatments and services can improve a person’s symptoms and daily functioning." - NIMH


Note: The source for these myths is a list created by Autistica. While the original list contains 8 myths, I will choose to address 5 of them here. As always, I have attempted to address each myth myself, however, along with borrowing some information from the original list.

1. Vaccines cause Autism

Of all the myths out there, this is one of the most prominent one I've encountered. I like to call this myth the zombie myth because no matter how hard the scientific community and medical community tries: There is always a segment of the adult population that will dismiss their evidence and will continue to believe whatever they want to believe.

Firstly, the myth was started off by a research paper with unethical scientific practices. In fact, in 2010, the paper was retracted by the journal that published it!

Secondly, it genuinely shocks me to my core that a parent would rather have their child get sick (and possibly die, or be permanently disabled) from a preventable illness (through vaccines) than having an autistic child.

Vaccinating A Child

2. Autism is a childhood condition

Autism is a lifelong condition, therefore, while symptoms may first appear in childhood, autism lasts a lifetime.

Image by Annie Spratt

3. Autism can be cured

Lets set aside this idea that autism is some kind of disease that needs a cure to begin with. Having Autism has its own challenges, yes. But that doesn't mean that the individual suffering from the disorder necessarily wants to get rid of it. Autism is not a bad thing, it's just different.


What people who have Autism need is support, and guidance. Not shame, and judgment.

According to Autistica, "the majority of autistic adults and families that we speak to feel that autism is a big part of their life, and not something that they would take away."

Male Pharmacist

4. Autism is caused by bad parenting 

Why is it that parents tend to get the blame for symptoms of disorders such as ADHD and Autism? Maybe it's society's tendency to blame someone, anyone, for the child failing to meet standards. And when the child gets old enough, the blame simply moves away from the parents onto the child.

If it isn't clear already: NO, parenting has absolutely nothing to do with Autism. We used to think that the cold behavior of mothers used to cause Autism, but clearly that notion has been long abandoned. So, why do people still continue to believe that it is still somehow the fault of parents? It is genuinely mind boggling.

Parental Love

5. Autistic people have learning difficulties

Anyone would have learning difficulties if the environment they are trying to learn in was not built for their strengths, weaknesses, and specific learning style. This applies to neurotypical people of course, but doubly so for neurodivergent individuals!

"With the right support and a suitable environment, many autistic people are very able and independent. Around 1 in 4 autistic people speak few or no words, but they can find other ways to communicate. Some autistic people take longer to process information, but it doesn’t mean they don't understand. Autistic people also have strengths over those without autism. For example, strong attention to detail and a special ability for seeing patterns in data can bring many advantages." (Source)


"Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is not a learning disability, but it can affect learning — in part because autism can affect language skills, both when listening and speaking. The term “learning disability” is an umbrella term encompassing a number of different problems with learning — most often in reading, writing, math, and problem solving." (Source)

Learning From Home
bottom of page