In simple words, Autism is a mental disorder that can also be classified as a developmental disability. It doesn’t matter if a kid has autism or an adult has it, they’ll both be two peas in a pod when it comes to interacting and communicating in social situations. Some people with autism have an extremely restrictive and repetitive pattern of behavior which tends to show more in social gatherings. Despite there being tons of strides in the medical field, scientists and medical professionals can’t for the life of them figure out how some people with autism are gifted while others might need support to ensure their health and safety.
There is no known cause for this mental disability, but scientists are working hard to figure out why the prevalence of autism keeps rising. Now you might think of autism as an illness or a disease that can’t be cured, but this isn’t true. Although there are currently no scientifically proven remedies out there that can cure autism, giving a shot at different kinds of therapies is what we urge every single autistic person to do. Autistic adults have grown familiar with their identity as one would expect, so denying any treatment that can potentially change their outlook on life is understandable, but it doesn’t work like that. Many treatments out there won’t make an autistic person behave like a non-autistic person, they’ll just make their mental health more stable and stronger.
It’s a common stereotype that autistic people are naturally smart, as they’re shown off to be in many movies and tv shows. However, some autistic people have intellectual disabilities like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) which can create difficulties in learning. Others have issues with their mental health which can create anxiety and depression throughout their life. The different kinds of autism in different kinds of people just means that every autistic person will need a different level of support, which many treatments can offer. Autistic people can indeed live their lives with joy as part of their community.
The Many Common Misconceptions Surrounding Autism:
Autistic people face many different stereotypes that with the help of social media, are widely accepted. From people having made up their minds about the mental capability of autistic people, to them differentiating the various levels of autism in a person, autistic people don’t have it easy. Here are some common misconceptions surrounding autism:
- Smart Or Dumb: A common misconception that surrounds autistic people is that they’re either smart, or they’re dumb. These labels that surround an autistic person are extremely discomforting and can be a struggle to deal with. There’s no such autistic person as “high-functioning” or “low-functioning”, they’re just humans. It’s an inaccurate and misleading image that people have made up their minds on. A “high-functioning” autistic person might be a highly efficient asset in the workplace but will be the exact opposite when they return home to a mental meltdown. The frequent changes they face in their lives can vary their ability to live happily. The mental capacity of an autistic person should never be seen as a self-fulfilling prophecy.
- The Different “Levels” Of Autism: People aren’t less or more autistic than another autistic person. Just because an autistic person is unable to get on a bus doesn’t mean every autistic person is like that. People think all kinds of things before they arrive at the simple conclusion that autism isn’t a determinant of a person’s character. Although autistic people have a vast difference between each other, no autistic person should be known as “less autistic” or “more autistic” than the other.
- The Inability To Work: It’s true that many autistic people can’t work at all. You’ll see them being overrepresented in unemployment and welfare statistics, but that doesn’t mean it’s the same for all of them. While some autistic people might face various difficulties in the workplace, other autistic people thrive in social situations. Autistic people shouldn’t be judged because of their lack of skill and willingness to work, it’s different for all of them.
Are There Any Treatments For Autism?
Scientists have been working on treating autism for decades now and despite there being no scientific breakthroughs yet, people with autism can have their life made easier from simple therapies. These therapies and programs have been known to improve the various symptoms and social skills of an autistic person. Since every autistic person is different, the best results can only be achieved when therapies that are specifically tailored to suit their needs are taken. For children with autism, many behavior therapies are suggested by therapists that can improve their quality of life. There are a few techniques that surround these therapies, such as:
- Applied Behavior Analysis: A highly successful and flourishing type of behavior therapy, known as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) was first developed in the 1970s. Used to help those who were found to be autistic at an early age, ABA helped children and adults reach their positive goals while also getting rid of negative behaviors. In an ABA therapy, the autistic individual will be worked on for more than 40 hours per week by a trained therapist. The person will be observed and will be helped accordingly. The ABA therapy was known to help people with autism thrive more in social situations while also dealing with their meltdowns.
- Relationship Development Intervention: Relationship Development Intervention (RDI) is a widely accepted behavior therapy that was developed in the 1980s by clinical psychologists in the United States. People think of this therapy to be relatively new when it’s been there for ages now. Focusing on the social behavior of kids with autism, this therapy is highly recommended for autistic kids who have trouble standing on their feet in social situations. Parents will need to watch videos and attend workshops that will show them how to work on helping their autistic kids. Although this therapy works best for young children with autism, there is hope for other people as well.