In honour of Autism Awareness Day (held on April 2) and everyone who has this condition, this week’s Myth Debunked is going to tackle some of the most persistent fallacies surrounding it.

Photo: PixabayPhoto: Pixabay

Myth: Repetitive jobs are best suited for people with autism.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects 700,000 people in the UK alone. Just like everyone else, people with autism have different personality traits.

Yes, they have a tendency to enjoy repetitive tasks, but one shouldn’t assume they are suitable for such jobs solely because they’re on the spectrum.

Myth: Autism is caused by bad parenting.

In the 1950s, a theory known as the ‘refrigerator mother hypothesis’ suggested that unemotional mothers were to blame for their children’s autism.

Despite there not being a known reason for the condition, this theory has been disproven.

Autism is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental influences, not a mother’s lack of emotional warmth.

Myth: Vaccines cause autism.

We can’t mention autism myths without tackling this pseudo-science monster. Scientific research has pro­ven time and time again that the MMR vaccine does not cause autism.

This deadly scandal is based on false research, and one of the main people res­ponsible for this, Andrew Wakefield, was discredited and disowned from the UK medical register for unethical behaviour, misconduct and dishonesty.

Autism is not an illness, nor is it a gift. It is a condition that makes you feel, see and hear differently than other people.


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