Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Let's Stop With The Autism Stereotypes

I find when I let people know that my son Tommy has autism that I get some odd comments. And I get it, because not everyone understands what it's like to have autism or to parent someone with autism. There are some stereotypes out there thanks to TV shows and movies and here are some I've heard.






1. No, not everyone with autism is good with numbers.  Yes, the man with autism in Rainman was, and yes, you hear about how this kid with autism can solve complicated math problems, but not everyone is like that. My son is terrible in math.



2. While some people with autism don't like to be touched, others are fine with it.  Tommy is okay with hugs. But you have to know when they are allowed. For example, if he's in the middle of a meltdown, don't touch him. He won't like it. Other people with autism don't like to be touched at all. Some crave touches all the time and benefit from weighted blankets.



3. Not everyone with autism are robotic. Some speak like any other person. Others do sound like mini professors or they can come across as robotic. My son has some speech issues, so sometimes he's tough to understand. When he's going on about a subject he loves, he can sound rather robotic.



4. They aren't all geniuses. Yes, some people with autism have high IQs. But not all of them do. When I tell people my son has autism, I'll get asked, "Oh, is he like super smart?" Yes, he is on the subjects he loves, but his IQ is normal. He also has a great memory. He can talk about things that happened when he was two.




5. There isn't an Autism look. Sorry. When Tommy was small, I would tell people he had autism and I'd get, "Oh, but he doesn't look like it." I'm sorry. What? Are people with autism supposed to be walking around with a giant A on their chests?








Look, just as neurotypical people are different, so are people with Autism. There isn't one type. So don't try to lump them as the same person. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect.





Do you know someone with autism? 






32 comments:

  1. Interesting post. Yes there are so many stereotypes and myths out there. My friend's son most likely has autism (he's still young so doctors can't tell for sure yet) and I've been trying to inform myself more about it so I can understand better

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  2. I mean, it's just like anything with stereotypes. I think those with autism just wanted to be treated with kindness and respect. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Love love LOVE this! One of my good friends has autism and I HATE the stigma she faces. It's ridiculous! People assume so many horrible things about here just because she's autistic but she's wonderful, kind, loving, sensitive and so damned smart!

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  4. What an interesting post. It's full of useful information and can be such a good reminder for those who tends to assume things and prejudge without trying to understand the facts. Thanks for sharing this. :)

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  5. I know somebody that has autism. My niece has autism. Her favorite thing in the world is Civil War and I can tell you she could be a professor at a college studying how much she has with that otherwise she is your normal every day kid that has some social issues. This is a great post.

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  6. could not agree more with this my friend- i have a friend whose daughter has autism and she is such a sweet pea- my daughter LOVES playing with her and never sees a difference between her and herself. it's what i want her to be as she grows older.

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  7. These are great! I love "there isn't an Autism look."

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  8. This is awesome info. As I know several kids who have autism and they dont fit all the categories.

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  9. My husband is autistic and while when I first met him, and the beginning of our relationship at times was hard, I actually love him EVEN MORE because he has autism. He opens me up to perspectives I would have never thoughts about - and he's LOGICAL and I love logical versus emotion driven thinking.

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  10. I don't personally know anyone with autism so I don't fully understand it. But I do know that it is similar to having an invisible illness. People often look at me and don't understand that even though I smile or look normal, that I fight daily chronic pain. I get "your too young for that" all the time. I love how you advocate for your son and help spread awareness about it. I think it helps a ton so that people do understand autism better.

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  11. I know of a few people with children with Autism...Thanks for speaking on this.

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  12. What a great informative piece on your personal experience with autism as a parent. Through important posts like this, more and more of the general public will become familiar with autism and what it means to be autistic. It's wonderful that you shared this story about your son.

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  13. So many people seem to think the stereotypes are true. No group of people is their stereotype and I love that you are sharing the reality of children with Autism and the reality of your amazing son!

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  14. This is a very important post. So many people don't know the facts and truth about autism. Thanks for spreading the word.

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  15. I work with kids who have autism and each one is very different from the other. I love that about them!! I have one kid who will stay by my side all the time snd the the other keeps me at a distance. They make every day very interesting.

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  16. I also hate it when people are stereotyping. We all have our own differences and we have to respect it. It's quite brave of you to post this.

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  17. this is super informative and helpful post for those who are facing the Autism. thanks for sharing this.

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  18. I've never met anyone with Autism (that I know of). However, they are just people to me. In my opinion, everyone is different, which is what makes us unique.

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  19. I don't know someone with autism so this is an enlightenment for me. And I totally agree, everyone deserves to be treated with respect.

    -LYNNDEE

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  20. I am thinking that everyone is different, no matter what description they have attached to them.

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  21. Yes to this! I love everything about this. I think we, as a whole, just have to stop with stereotypes in general. We are all individuals and should be treated as such!

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  22. I love this post, I agree that we need to stop all the stereotypes, thank you for sharing

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  23. Thank you for writing this. I hate that you have had to deal with such rude people! Do they even think before they speak? Everyone is unique. It would be great if more people remembered that!

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  24. Yes you wrote it really well. I agree with you we need to stop all the stereotypes, certain things not comes as it. My daughter has delayed speech I know how it feels. Similarly parents and kids has to go through autism is not the easy.

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  25. I spent over 12 years teaching, and never came across two students who were the same. But I'm still learning! I'm hopeful that people don't mean to be insensitive with their assumptions and stereotypes, but just don't know better. The more you're willing to share, the better off we all are.

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  26. I personally am so frustrated with stereotypes. Especially with Autism. No two people are alike.

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  27. I'm part of a mom group who all had our kids within a few months of each other. Some of the kids have autism, and they are so different from each other. It blows my mind that some people believe everyone with autism is the same.

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  29. What a great post! I have a nephew with autism and he has his own personality. Thank you for raising awareness about the autism stereotypes.

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  32. this is a great post - I find that people who are exposed to certain things are often lead to stereotypes, knowledge is power. Thank you for sharing.

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