• Callum

9 Myths About Autism and Autistic People

Our first official community blog comes to us from the talented writer Callum, also known as Autistic Callum on Instagram @adulting_with_autism. Callum has sent us a blog that busts some myths about autism... and we think it is such a good read!


Myth number 1: All Autistic People Are the Same


Every person in the world is unique and that includes autistic people. While having a similar brain type results in many common perceptions, experiences and behaviours among autistic people, there is no singular model of autism. Every autistic person is different and every person’s presentation of autism is unique.



Myth number 2: Autism is a Mental Health Condition


There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a mental health condition and it is a travesty that mental health conditions are stigmatised. However, autism isn’t a mental health condition and it is disheartening to see our neurology misclassified.



Myth number 3: Autism is Tragic and Autistic People are Hoping for a Cure


Every autistic person has their own feelings about being autistic. Some embrace their difference, some do not. Some are hoping for a cure, but many are not. It is disrespectful to assume that all (or even most) autistic people want a cure. We are perfectly valid as we are.



Myth number 4: All Autistic People Have a Learning Disability/Intellectual Disability


There is no shame in having a learning disability/intellectual disability and as the sibling and carer of an autistic person who has GDD, I see all autistic people as equally valid. However, we all have different cognitive and intellectual abilities and it is dangerous and inaccurate to assume otherwise.



Myth number 5: Autism is Static


Like everything humans are, have and experience in life, autism ebbs and flows. While we always were and always will be autistic, how our autistic facets develop and present themselves will always change, and the changes will zig-zag in a non-linear fashion.



Myth number 6: Autism Impacts Every Aspect of a Person in the Same Way


Autism influences different aspects of autistic people in different ways and to varied extents. An autistic person might experience life similarly to neurotypical people in some ways, but in a vastly different way in others.



Myth number 7: Autistic People are Inferior


Autism is a difference, not an inferiority and we are just as valid as neurotypical people. The reason we encounter more challenges is because the world was designed for and operates specifically for neurotypical people. If the world supported and championed all neurotypes equally, the majority of our challenges would be eradicated.



Myth number 8: Autistic People are Less Capable


Being autistic (and different to the majority) does mean that we encounter more challenges in some circumstances, but it also means that we encounter fewer challenges in others. People tend to overlook the latter and notice only our struggles, at the expense of our brilliance. Many of us are exceptionally skilled and have the capabilities to contribute greatness to the world. For example, many of us are great at a analysing, have exceptional attention to detail and extraordinary focus (just to name a few common skills).



Myth number 9: Autistic People are Socially Backwards


There are a million social rules out there and autistic people are less likely to follow them, which is usually perceived as a failure on our part. The truth is a lot of social rules are arbitrary, do not work for us and go against our needs, and that is a failure of the rules, not a failure of autistic people; social rules are backwards for not being inclusive of us and our needs as human beings.



 

Thank you Callum for this great blog! In case anyone missed at the top, be sure to check Callum out on Instagram @adulting_with_autism. We hope everyone who reads this has enjoyed it and learnt something new. Be sure to share with others in your life so they can understand that some misconceptions about autism are in fact just myths.



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