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Common Misconceptions About Autism and Children on the Spectrum

There are so many misconceptions about autism that when you hear what some people have to say, you’d do a 180-neck snap.

There are a lot of common misconceptions about autism and children on the spectrum. Access to the wrong information can be distressing to parents with autistic children or family members.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects individuals differently and presents unique challenges. In this blog, we will examine some common misconceptions about autism and accurately answer some of these misconceptions and questions concerning these myths. It’ll help you better understand autism, it’s causes and how you can manage them.

Myth 1: Autism is Caused by Bad Parenting

This is one of the most harmful and hurtful misconceptions about autism – that it is caused by bad parenting or neglect. Research has shown that autism is a complex disorder with genetic and environmental factors contributing to its development. Parents should know they are not responsible for their child’s autism diagnosis.

Myth 2: Children with Autism Lack Empathy

Contrary to popular belief, individuals with autism are capable of empathy. However, they may struggle with understanding and expressing emotions in ways that are easily recognizable to neurotypical individuals. It is crucial to recognize and appreciate the unique ways autistic individuals experience and express empathy.

Myth 3: All Autistic Individuals Are Nonverbal

While some autistic individuals may be nonverbal or have challenges with speech, it is essential to note that not all individuals on the spectrum are nonverbal. Many autistic individuals develop strong verbal abilities and can communicate effectively with others. It is crucial to support and encourage communication in whichever form it takes for each individual.

Myth 4: Autistic Children Cannot Lead Fulfilling Lives

With the proper support and accommodations, children on the spectrum can pursue their passions, build relationships, and contribute to society in various ways. Exploring and encouraging their unique talents and abilities can set them on the path to a rewarding and successful life. Some well-known individuals that have gone on to thrive in their careers include Dan Aykroyd, actor and film writer of the popular hit movie Ghostbusters, actor Anthony Hopkins, chess master Bobby Fischer and even comedian Jerry Seinfeld.

Myth 5: Autistic Individuals have an intellectual disability

While some autistic individuals may have intellectual disabilities, it is important to note that autism and intellectual disability are not synonymous. Many autistic individuals have average or above-average intelligence. Each person on the spectrum has their unique cognitive profile, and it is essential to recognize and support their strengths and challenges.

Myth 6: Autism Is Linked to Savant Skills

While some autistic individuals may possess exceptional skills or talents, such as remarkable memory or attention to detail, it is essential to understand that these savant skills do not represent all individuals on the spectrum. Autism is a diverse spectrum, and each individual has their unique strengths and challenges.

Myth 7: Autistic Individuals Cannot Form Meaningful Relationships

Autistic individuals can form meaningful and deep relationships, just like anyone else. However, they may have unique social challenges that require understanding and support from their loved ones. Building and nurturing relationships with autistic individuals can be incredibly rewarding and enriching for both parties.

Myth 8: Autistic Individuals Are Violent or Dangerous

There is no inherent connection between autism and violence. It is a harmful stereotype to assume that autistic individuals are violent or dangerous. Like anyone else, autistic individuals can display many behaviors, but most are peaceful, kind, and nonviolent.


It is crucial to dispel common misconceptions about autism and promote accurate understanding and acceptance. Autism is a complex and diverse spectrum, and each individual deserves respect, support, and opportunities to thrive. Challenging misconceptions can create a more inclusive and compassionate society for individuals with autism and their families.

More information and resources

You can learn more about the early signs of the spectrum disorder and how to understand what it will mean for you and your family here: