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Autism Facts: True or False
Let’s get some autism facts straight. As a former school teacher and a mom of three, I have only learned about Autism through my own research and through the honour of meeting fabulous autistic individuals in my adult life. I am also grateful for incredible organizations like ANCA International Naturally Autistic People Awards and World Festival, who not only celebrate autistic individuals but recognize their remarkable contributions to our communities as scientists, doctors, engineers, artists, educators, and thought leaders.
April is Autism Awareness month and this is as good a time as any to educate and inform ourselves about people around us so that there is a greater understanding and acceptance of one another.
My heart aches when a mom shares with me that she cannot go grocery shopping with her autistic daughter who may have a meltdown, because the shopping trip is out of routine, and she is tired of all the judgemental looks and comments she has heard in her past experience.
It Begins with Understanding
Acceptance and assistance begins with understanding. Let’s learn about each other as we are all different. If there is anything I have learned about autistic individuals it is that they are different, not disabled. Let’s start with just learning these six autism facts:
- False. It was once believed that autism was caused by “Refrigerator moms”. Dr. Leo Kanner first described it in a 1943 article but due to not having all the facts, at the time, came up with the theory of “refrigerator moms” (the idea that a mother who is distant from her child would cause her child to develop Autism).
- False. Some believed that Autism is a disease. Autism is not a disease but a complex neurobehavioral condition creating repetitive actions, a different style of social interaction, and complications with language development and communication. The signs can be discovered as early as 18 months but usually are not diagnosed until about 4 years of age.
- True. Some possible early signs of autism include a lack of communication, social and emotional abilities noted in young children. Autistic children tend to exhibit repetitive behaviour, a lack of ability to pay attention, harsher reactions, different learning styles and a difficulty with changing schedules.
- True. More than two-thirds of people with Autism are bullied within their lifetime. It is often twice as much as those without Autism or a disability.
- True. Boys are more likely to be born with Autism than girls: 1 in every 42 boys and 1 in every 189 girls will be diagnosed.
- True. Sesame Street was the first to introduce an Autistic Character named Julia, helping young children learn and understand more about autism.
The world is a happier place not because we are the same but because we can embrace each other’s differences, strengths, weaknesses, skills and abilities.
Written By Elaine Tan Comeau, Mom of Three, Wife, Keynote Speaker, Award Winning Entrepreneur and Educator, Creator of Easy Daysies® Magnetic Schedules for Kids,#1 Best Selling Author, Dragons’ Den Winner and 2014 Canadian Mompreneur of the Year www.EasyDaysies.com, Mompreneurs® – Vancouver Chapter Owner, and Podcast Host for http://www.elaineskitchentable.com/iTunes