AUTISM MYTHS

OK. There is an article I read earlier today that I feel needs to be brought to people’s attention. The article lists 9 “myths” about Autism that can be debunked and, I feel, need publicity. I am going to go through all 9 right now.

I: Autistic people are cold and unemotional

WHOA! Excuse me?! For me, this is kinda taken outta context. I am not cold or unemotional. I just try not to let my emotions get the better of me. I do not cry very often. But does that mean I am inhuman? No. I just cope with it differently

 

II: Autistic people can’t communicate

This is simply 100% bullshit. OK. Some people on the Spectrum can only communicate by screaming what “normal” people consider gibberish, but isn’t screaming gibberish still a form of communication? Same holds true for voice pads. I can talk like a “normal” person and pass off for an average everyday person. I have no problem talking to people. My issue with communication is going too far or not knowing when to shut up. Autistic people can indeed communicate. It just varies how from person to person.

 

III: “Stimming” is dangerous or bad for people on the Autism Spectrum

Look…if that propaganda were true, Fidget Spinners would not have been invented. Not all Autistic people “stim”. (Stimming, by the way, is self-soothing behavior or playing with an object). Some “normal” people stim…actually, I take that back. MOST people stim and do not even realize they are doing it. Do you ever tap your fingers on your desk or table? Twirl a pencil in your fingers? Tap your feet without even realizing you are doing it? Yeah…that’s stimming.

Having said that, stimming can be potentially harmful in some situations. Banging your head against something repeatedly is stimming, and harmful. For me, I constantly bite my nails to the point where they bleed. Bad stimming. But I can’t help it. It is a coping strategy for me. As long as it is not harming you or anyone else visibly, stim away!

 

IV: Autism used to be rare, but now it’s everywhere

No…Autism has always been around. I think the reason people think this is because of more focus and attention on the “issue”. The media decided to focus on Autism and, BOOM! There ya go. It was never “rare”. It was just not as in the public eye as it is today. Autism is an everyday thing and cannot be helped. Do not be fooled by the statistics from 30 years ago as opposed to today. Not as much attention was given to Autism 30 or so years ago as it is now.

 

V: Autistic people are too literal and/or have no sense of humor

BULLSHIT! I do stand up comedy and can find humor in everyday things. Am I saying I find Autism funny? No, but if you can’t laugh at yourself… Now, do I think something someone else finds amusing as funny? No. But I can laugh about the hand God has dealt me. Some people do not find what I say funny, either. But whatever. I can accept that. I also use humor in my Autism advocacy job. Three years ago, I had a pacemaker installed. I had open heart surgery at 4 months old due to a vein connecting to the wrong valve and a hole in my heart. I am hole-y! WORSHIP ME DAMMIT! I broke my arm and shattered my funnybone. And it wasn’t humerus. IT HURT! I find that funny. Because look, I broke my arm. Big deal…What am I gonna do? Bitch and moan and be like, “poor me” for the rest of my life? That’s not me. I have a life to live. I am happy joking around about my diagnoses for money. It’s fun.

 

VI: All Autistic people are savants

Not true. We are not all Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man. Math and I are mortal enemies. I cannot crack a secure bank vault’s security code and get away with it. I am just an everyday “normal” Autistic person. Nothing more, nothing less.

 

VII: Autistic people are violent

Who the fuck is supplying this information?! I am actually quite docile. My girlfriend is gentle. I have my outbursts or moments of anger, but I have never gotten violent, that I can remember.  I am on meds to lower my anxiety and depression. Look, I am human. So is everyone else on the Spectrum. It goes back to the misconception about Autistic people not having feelings, or being unemotional. We feel pain, joy, sadness, happiness, euphoria…WE ARE NOT FUCKING ROBOTS! And if you think that…I will kick your ass. Just kidding! Stop believing the myths.

 

VIII: Autistic people are mentally ill

Um…ok… Autism is a “disability”…NOT AN ILLNESS! I hate this myth that Autism is an illness and should be “cured”. A lot of times, as with any drug, the side effect is a Hell of a lot worse than the symptoms you are trying to “cure” or alleviate. Bleach enemas–yes, that is a thing–actually KILL kids, all in the name of the kids not being Autistic. A mental illness, to me, is complete ignorance of how to deal with or handle knowing someone on the Spectrum. Autism is just a way of life.

 

IX: We need a cure for Autism

Nope…we need a cure for the ignorant assholes who came up with this. Autism, again, is a way of life. I am what I am. I am Autistic and do not want a cure. I am fine and content with myself. Stop looking up how to “cure” Autism. It’s a lost cause. You will never find it. And even if you did…I still would not want it. My Autism is what makes me unique. My Autism is what makes me awesome. Autism is what makes me…me.

 

 

As always, thank you for reading and feel free to comment

Author: AuTom Spectrum Blog

I have Autism and am a self-advocate and public speaker. On the side I do stand-up comedy. I live in Baltimore County and have an AMAZING girlfriend

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