Here are some widely held myths about autism and autistic people.
Autism can be cured:
There is no current way to cure autism but some symptoms are treatable and the good news is that with proper therapy and medical treatment, many people show signs of improvement.
Individuals with autism are mentally retarded:
Some persons are but not all of them. Some autistic individuals are not only autistic but also have other issues such as OCD, ADHD, Dyslexia, mental retardation or sensory issues. Some autistics cannot speak, some are blind, and some are deaf. This does not necessarily mean that all autistic persons are mentally retarded. Many autistic persons have intelligence that is either average or above average. Sometimes, they may not have a way to communicate their intelligence, but once they do, their intelligence is often obvious.
Autistic adults cannot live on their own:
This is not true for all autistics. Autistic children will definitely grow up to become autistic adults, but with the right training and a little help from the community and programs, it is absolutely possible for autistic adults to live on their own. The symptoms of autism occur in many different degrees and levels. Some autistics behave normally and can do many things on their own with little reliance on other people. Some need assistance in social situations and money management, and some might be so severe that they will be unable to achieve any level of independence at all.
Autistic individuals cannot build social relationships.
People with autism often have limitations when it has to do with social interaction. But if they are taught how to interact and understand each other, they can develop good, strong and better loving relationships with others.
Autism is a lifestyle:
A popular misconception is that autism is a way of life or perspective. A kid at my school once told me that enjoying rains, star trek, comic books and behaving like Sheldon from the big bang theory will make you autistic.
People who are autistic do not try to be eccentric so as to fit in: it is in their nature to be so. This does not mean that you cannot love things that may define you to be autistic. Feel free to do what you want and be proud of your interests. But know that you have to be diagnosed with autism to be autistic.
Autistic people have no emotional feelings:
Autistic individuals like every other human being, feel emotions, but they often find it difficult interpreting emotions or non-verbal signs which suggest emotions. An example is that they may have challenges in telling when someone is angry or sad only by their facial expression or tone of voice. But when communicating in a direct and clear manner, autistics may sometimes be more empathetic than neurotypicals.