AutismCare Nepal Society

15 myths about autism


Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental condition that affects individuals in various ways. Unfortunately, misconceptions and myths about autism abound, leading to misunderstanding and stigma. In this blog post, we aim to debunk 50 common myths about autism, backed by relevant data and evidence.

Myth 1: All Individuals with Autism Have Savant Skills

Fact: While some individuals with autism may possess exceptional skills in specific areas, such as math or music, not all individuals with autism are savants. According to research by the National Autistic Society, only about 10% of individuals with autism exhibit savant abilities.

Myth 2: Autism is Caused by Bad Parenting

Fact: Parenting style does not cause autism. Numerous studies have shown that genetics plays a significant role in the development of autism. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), genes contribute to about 80% of the risk for autism.

Myth 3: People with Autism Lack Empathy

Fact: Individuals with autism may express empathy differently, but they are not devoid of empathy. Research published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders indicates that individuals with autism can experience and express empathy, albeit in unique ways.

Myth 4: Autism Only Affects Children

Fact: Autism is a lifelong condition that persists into adulthood. The CDC estimates that around 2.2% of adults in the United States have been diagnosed with autism. Awareness and understanding of autism in adults are essential for providing appropriate support and accommodations.

Myth 5: Vaccines Cause Autism

Fact: Numerous studies have debunked the myth that vaccines cause autism. The most comprehensive study to date, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, analyzed data from over 650,000 children and found no link between vaccines and autism.

Myth 6: Individuals with Autism Cannot Lead Independent Lives

Fact: While some individuals with autism may require varying degrees of support, many lead independent and fulfilling lives. With appropriate interventions and support services, individuals with autism can learn valuable skills to enhance their independence and quality of life.

Myth 7: Autism Only Affects Boys

Fact: Although autism is diagnosed more frequently in boys than girls, it affects individuals of all genders. The ratio of boys to girls diagnosed with autism is approximately 4:1, according to the CDC. However, girls with autism may be underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed due to differences in presentation.

Myth 8: Individuals with Autism Are Violent or Dangerous

Fact: There is no evidence to suggest that individuals with autism are inherently violent or dangerous. In fact, research published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders indicates that individuals with autism are more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators.

Myth 9: Autism Can Be “Cured”

Fact: Autism is not a disease that can be cured. It is a lifelong developmental condition. However, early intervention, therapy, and support services can help individuals with autism learn essential skills and improve their quality of life.

Myth 10: All Individuals with Autism Have Intellectual Disabilities

Fact: While some individuals with autism may also have intellectual disabilities, autism and intellectual disability are not synonymous. According to the CDC, around 31% of individuals with autism have an intellectual disability, but the majority have average to above-average intelligence.

Myth 11: Individuals with Autism Do Not Want Social Relationships

Fact: Many individuals with autism desire social connections and relationships, but they may struggle with social communication and interaction. With support and understanding, individuals with autism can develop meaningful relationships and friendships.

Myth 12: Autism is Rare

Fact: Autism is more common than previously believed. According to the CDC, approximately 1 in 54 children in the United States is diagnosed with autism. Improved awareness and diagnostic criteria have contributed to the increased recognition of autism in recent years.

Myth 13: Individuals with Autism Cannot Hold Jobs

Fact: Many individuals with autism are capable of holding down jobs and contributing to the workforce. With accommodations and support, individuals with autism can excel in various fields, leveraging their unique strengths and abilities.

Myth 14: Autism is a Mental Illness

Fact: Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder, not a mental illness. It is characterized by differences in social communication, behavior, and sensory processing. Understanding autism as a developmental condition is crucial for providing appropriate support and accommodations.

Myth 15: Individuals with Autism Are All the Same

Fact: Autism is a spectrum disorder, meaning that it manifests differently in each individual. The phrase “If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism” emphasizes the unique strengths, challenges, and characteristics of each individual with autism.


Dispelling myths about autism is crucial for promoting understanding, acceptance, and inclusion. By challenging misconceptions and providing accurate information, we can create a more supportive and inclusive society for individuals with autism. It’s essential to recognize the diversity and strengths within the autism community and celebrate the unique contributions of every individual.

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