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Common Myths and Misconceptions About Autism Diagnosis

Posted By  
11:00 AM

In Australia, like in most developed nations, the understanding and awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have improved over the years. However, this isn't to say that myths and misconceptions about this condition have disappeared. Understanding the contemporary issues, debates, and state-of-practice in ASD diagnosis and aims for intervention provides a context in which we can accomplish the unchanging goal of diagnosing kids who need it and providing them with evidence-based, effective interventions. In this way, we do the up-front work today that will pay dividends in the future.


Autism can be outgrown?

Individuals with autism experience the core characteristics of ASD throughout their lives. Early intervention and appropriate support can make skills and functioning improve, often dramatically. But even after extensive help, serious impairments in communication and social interaction remain. And it's a neurological something, so there's no changing it. You just learn to live with it the best you can.


Only boys can be autistic?

Autism is present in both genders but more common in boys. More boys get diagnosed with autism simply because boys tend to show the classic signs—which the autism model was based on—more than girls do. The model, called the Triad of Impairment, consists of three areas: social interaction, communication, and imagination. Boys are more impaired in these areas. However, girls are just as common in the spectrum and tend to have “camouflaging” skills that hide their symptoms. 


An early diagnosis of autism is detrimental

Certain parents fear the possible negative implications of a precipitous diagnosis. They worry that affixing their son or daughter with the label of autism or autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) might compromise an as-yet-unrealized potential or unfairly constrict that person's future. This might indeed happen if early diagnosis guaranteed anything in particular—except that autism will now be seen as a community insurance plan with some very likely good future outcomes. 

The benefits of early detection are many. They equip a family with a range of effective ways to promote a child’s development from an early age when the child is surrounded by his or her parents and can leverage the benefit of living with them to the maximum extent. More therapies and support systems are available when the child can most easily benefit from them. And today, most of these are evidence-based approaches that are well-established in the research and can be counted upon to bring about the desired changes when properly applied. 

Studies have shown that when it comes to autism, earlier is definitely better. Over the years, many studies have found that early intervention leads to better long-term outcomes for those with autism.

All autistic individuals have intellectual disabilities?

Although it's common for autism and intellectual disability to co-occur, some individuals with autism actually have average or higher intellectual abilities. Autism is a condition that varies widely between those who have it; even its name, Autism Spectrum Disorder, reflects this, emphasizing as it does a huge range of abilities and disabilities. Some high-functioning adults, just to give one example, have been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. In those with ASD, individual differences should be the rule rather than the exception. 

It is of utmost importance to comprehend the actuality of autism and to dispense with the myths that surround it. Ensuring that people have the right information is what this is all about: not just for us, but especially for individuals on the autism spectrum and, of course, their families. If they are going to have a good chance at a meaningful, contented life, they need a society that is both inclusive and understanding. 

If we can bring about early identification and treatment, we can provision those children who have autism with the best available opportunities to succeed in life. With such hopes in mind, we deliver our intervention services.