ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - This is the last week of Autism Awareness Month. Autism Spectrum Disorder is a developmental disability that can show itself very differently in individual people.
People on the spectrum tend to have issues understanding social cues. WALB News 10′s Gabrielle Ware spoke to an expert to explore common misconceptions about the disorder.
The CDC describes people with autism ranging from very “gifted to severely challenged.”
Tokela Huston of D.A.N.A (Diagnosed Autism & Nonverbal Audience) Therapy Group lists some of the common misconceptions.
“Autism is non-verbal. Autism is supposed to look a certain way. People with autism can’t hear. People with autism can’t be successful or have a successful life,” are just some of the things she listed.
The CDC said that another misconception is that vaccines cause autism. Several studies have concluded the two are not related.
Huston said there are some common characteristics in people with autism.
“Repetitive behavior, constantly moving, pacing back and forth, fixation on certain activities or objects. Getting upset when a routine is changed or even slightly changed,” said Huston.
Those characteristics can make big life shifts, like getting a job, difficult.
“People with autism like consistency. So, that’s a big change for them, when they’re entering the workforce,” she explained.
Those on the spectrum also tend to have difficulty maintaining relationships because of their struggle with social skills.
Still, there are many success stories. Several of which are highlighted by the advocacy organization Autism Speaks.