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10 Common Myths or Misconception About Autism Spectrum Disorder

Published on October 25, 2023

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is gaining widespread acknowledgement and acceptance across the globe, especially in developing countries such as India. The awareness campaigns around ASD have been strategically crafted to address the common concerns of parents and caregivers pertaining to Autism and how to help autistic children lead a good quality and productive life. These campaigns also aim at eliminating the deep-rooted Autism myths and misconceptions associated with Autistic individuals. 

In this blog, we will be debunking some of the most common myths and misconceptions about Autism, this often misunderstood neurodiverse condition. 

So, let's set the record straight pertaining to Autism myths and facts!

Myth 1: Autism is Caused by Bad Parenting

One of the most harmful Autism myths is that it results from poor parenting or emotional neglect. However, this couldn't be further from the truth. Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder with genetic and environmental factors playing a significant role in its onset. Research has consistently shown that parenting style has no causative link to Autism. The blame game is unhelpful and unfair to both parents and individuals with ASD. 

The fact is that parents and caregivers play a crucial role in helping individuals with ASD emerge above the social taboos and live their life with ease and confidence. 

Myth 2: Autism Only Affects Children

Autism is often associated with children. This is one of the most common misconceptions about Autism. However, Autism is a lifelong condition that continues to impact individuals as they grow into adulthood. While early intervention is essential for better outcomes, it's crucial to recognize that autistic children grow up to be autistic individuals. In fact, many individuals go undiagnosed until later in life, making it vital to raise awareness about Autism in all age groups.

Myth 3: All Individuals with Autism Have Savant Abilities

Thanks to popular media portrayals, there's a myth that all autistic individuals possess extraordinary savant skills like rain-man-like mathematical abilities. However, while some individuals with ASD may have exceptional talents in specific areas, such as art, music, or memory, savant abilities are relatively rare and not present in all autistic individuals.

If a child or individual has extraordinary talent, it does not put them in the category of Autistic individuals. The fact is that most Autistic individuals happen to have certain special capabilities and are more inclined to follow their passion and what interests and intrigues them the most. It’s time to let go of these myths of ASD and enable Autistic individuals to realise their full potential. 

Myth 4: Autism Can Be "Cured"

There is no "cure" for Autism, nor is it a disease that needs to be cured. This is again one of the most common misconceptions of ASD, which needs to be debunked. Autism is a neurological variation that shapes the way individuals perceive the world and interact with others. What is crucial is providing appropriate support and interventions to help autistic individuals lead fulfilling lives and reach their fullest potential.

Myth 5: People with Autism Lack Empathy

This Autism myth perpetuates the stereotype that autistic individuals are unfeeling or lack empathy. In reality, autistic individuals  can experience emotions deeply, and their expressions of empathy may differ from neurotypical individuals. They may struggle with understanding social cues, but it doesn't mean they don't care or empathise with others. 

Myth 6: Autism is Linked to Vaccines

This myth has been thoroughly debunked by extensive research. Multiple studies conducted by reputable sources, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), have found no evidence linking vaccines to Autism. Vaccines are safe and crucial in preventing serious illnesses.

Myth 7: All Individuals with Autism Have Intellectual Disabilities

While some autistic individuals may have co-occurring intellectual disabilities, not all do. Autism is a spectrum, and individuals can have varying levels of cognitive abilities. Some may have average or above-average intelligence and excel in certain areas, including academics and problem-solving.

Myth 8: Autism is a Result of Poor Nutrition

There is no direct correlation between diet and Autism. Although a healthy diet is essential for overall well-being, it does not cause or cure Autism. Genetic and environmental factors play a more significant role in the development of Autism.

Myth 9: People with Autism Are Violent or Aggressive

Autistic individuals are not inherently violent or aggressive. Like any other group of people, their behaviour can be influenced by various factors such as communication difficulties, sensory sensitivities, or frustration due to unmet needs. With appropriate support and understanding, challenging behaviours can often be managed effectively.

Myth 10: Autism is Rare

Autism is more common than you might think. According to the latest data from the CDC, approximately 1 in 54 children in the United States are diagnosed with Autism. The statistics in developing countries can be further alarming. 


Debunking myths and misconceptions about Autism Spectrum Disorder is essential to promote understanding and acceptance of autistic individuals. By busting the myths, we can pave the way to create awareness, which will reshape autism diagnosis and personalised treatment and rehabilitative roadmaps recommended by professionals. This will also help build requisite support structures for autistic individuals. By challenging these misconceptions, we can create a more inclusive society that celebrates neurodiversity and provides the support and empathy that autistic individuals and their families deserve.