Debunking the Myths surrounding Autism

Debunking the Myths surrounding Autism

It is human nature to feel apprehensive about the unknown, however we owe it to our children to debunk the myths surrounding Autism. We need to talk about what Autism really is and how it affects us (the immediate and extended family) and the society at large. For me, Autism is not a topic I shy away from because it is a living proof that God does exist and if I have faith in him and give it all to him, he would take the wheel and turn it all around for me. I’m a better me today because of my little miracle.

I was at a function and a fellow mom shared a very touching story on how she got her extended family enlightened about Autism. She is from the eastern part of the country and every Christmas she and her family travel to her hometown to celebrate with their extended family. On one of their trips, she remembers overhearing some of the womenfolks commenting about how strangely her daughter was behaving and how the other children don’t want to play with her and are fearful they may catch what she has.

This supermom didn’t run away scarred or ashamed of her child rather she requested a family meeting with everyone including the oldest member of their clan present and in the most basic form explained what autism is; that her daughter isn’t possessed or have a contagious disease; explained what happens when her daughter gets overstimulated. She told her family how including her daughter in their everyday activity and allowing their children play with her daughter would be a nice idea and how her specific diet is good for her. She took it upon herself that day to educate her family about autism and debunk the various myths surrounding autism.

The next morning, she woke up to find out her daughter wasn’t in her bed. She was so scarred but later found her daughter curled up in her granduncle’s bed fast asleep. Before the meeting that would never have happened but by educating her family, they were more aware and accepting of her daughter and are willing to lend a helping hand wherever they can. The next day, the other kids came over to get her to include her in their play. And just like that a more accepting community is formed.

Dear mom, you’ve got this. You may feel its too much, I can’t face this crowd, they won’t understand. I’ll protect my child from this cruel world by hiding him/her in the house locked up. But guess what you only make it worse. You have to help spread the awareness, educate the people around you, be the voice of acceptance, be the advocate our children need for a better quality of life.

Below are common misconceptions and facts about Autism.

 

AUTISM: MYTHS AND FACTS
These myths are direct quotes while these facts are based on medicine and evidence based research.

MYTHS

FACTS

Autism is a curse

A curse cannot be changed but children with autism spectrum disorder can be helped

Autism is your fault

Parents do not cause their child’s autism

Autism is a disease that can be cured

Autism is a developmental condition that can improve with education and therapy

Autism is an epidemic

Autism is personal and individual

Autism is contagious

No one can ‘catch’ autism

Autism is punishment for your sin

Punishment applies to a person who is responsible; not to an innocent baby

Autism means ‘mentally retarded’

Some children with autism have an intellectual disability, some are average and some are smarter than other people in the community

Autism is cursed by too much tv

Autism happens to children even if they don’t watch tv at all

Autism is cursed by vaccinations

Research studies have found no link between autism and vaccines

Autism affects only a certain class of people

Autism may be seen in people of all levels of income and across all cultures

Autism is the fault of the mother

Autism is related to the genes of a child which comes from both the mother and the father

Till next time folks, remember awareness is good but its not enough to be just aware of autism, we should accept, support, respect and include autistic people. Look beyond the label and see the beauty it all.

Written by Solape Azazi

Boluwatife Ayinde
Boluwatife is an Editorial Assistant at Kamdora. Ever since she discovered her passion for writing at a young age, she has developed her skill by writing for renowned websites. She recently developed a passion for fashion and has since been using her talent wisely! Tife blogs about her personal style and offers guides to making life better for the average Nigerian girl!

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1 Comment

  • N May 13, 2019 6:32 pm

    Moving article. Education is key! Get educated, Share education.

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