At Puzzle Box Academy, we support learners on the autism spectrum and other students with developmental delays by providing them with a research-based, comprehensive, and individualized education. Our goal is to help your child flourish in the “real world” with practical, hands-on learning skills reinforced by proven methodologies including the Morningside Model of Generative Instruction and Applied Behavior Analysis.
While we firmly believe that our work is integral in supporting those with autism, those with developmental delays, and neurotypical students, we also believe that autism education is supplemented and supported through autism awareness. That’s why we’re covering several myths surrounding autism in today’s blog post, so keep reading below to learn more and help spread awareness about autism.
Five Myths About Autism That Need To Be Addressed
Myth #1: Those affected by autism can’t perceive emotions.
While the majority of those on the autism spectrum may have difficulty perceiving and understanding their own emotions — as well as the emotions of others — they are certainly capable of understanding more clearly communicated feelings. Understanding nonverbal, interpersonal communication is generally a challenge, but people with autism can and will feel empathy and compassion for other people.
Myth #2: Autism only affects the brain.
It’s true that autism disorder affects the brain, including mental processes, perception, expression, and so forth. However, many people on the spectrum also have a number of accompanying or co-occurring conditions including but not limited to allergies, various food sensitivities, epilepsy, and GI disorders.
When working with someone with autism, it’s always important to remember that they’re likely going through other challenges in addition to autism itself.
Myth #3: All people on the autism spectrum are savants.
One of the most important things to keep in mind about autism is that it’s a spectrum — after all, that’s why you’ll commonly see “autism spectrum” or “on the spectrum” rather than just “autism.” This means that it’s impossible and unfair to generalize this disorder, and that one person’s experience with the autism spectrum can wildly vary from another’s.
In many cases, individuals with autism are exceptionally gifted and possess a relatively average or even higher-than-normal IQ. They may struggle when it comes to certain subjects, but clearly excel and even demonstrate early mastery at another subject. Again, since autism is a spectrum disorder, only certain people who are affected by it can be considered “savants.”
Myth #4: Autism is a disease.
Autism is not a disease. Autism is not contagious, and it is not a result of bad parenting (another antiquated myth that’s been dispelled for decades). Autism spectrum disorder is exactly that: a disorder, or to be more specific, a neurodevelopmental disorder. When it comes to working with, teaching, or simply interacting with those affected by the spectrum, it’s important to remember that this is simply a part of their identity: it’s who they are that makes them special, not what they have.
In other words, people with autism are not sick, and are 100 percent capable of living completely normal, independent, and productive lives.
Myth #5: People with autism aren’t interested in making friends.
This is not true! Though this myth is unfortunate, it’s understandable that people still believe this because many people affected by the spectrum have difficulty in expressing their emotions and feelings (as we touched on above). Autism primarily affects one’s social abilities and interactions, meaning that someone may look distant or unfriendly from the outside, but on the inside, they could feel completely different.
Being patient, compassionate, and understanding is essential to empathizing with people with autism, and naturally, the same goes for learning and developing children!
Help With Autism: Puzzle Box Academy In Brevard County Is Here For You
As we opened with in our blog, our goal at Puzzle Box Academy is two-fold: to help educate your child and prepare them with hands-on, real-world living skills backed by science-based methodologies and compassionate care, and to help spread awareness about autism spectrum disorder. Though we’re primarily invested in the education side of things, we’re happy to do what we can to help further the cause for autism awareness.