Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a prevalent neurodevelopmental disorder. It can be diagnosed as early as the age of 2, although some adults with milder symptoms live undiagnosed. Males are four times more likely to develop a form of autism than females. ASD is complex, and there is a lot of false information out there. Unfounded assumptions can have unintended, lasting effects on any medical condition. We are going to arm you with the basics of adult autism and reveal the truth to some common myths. Let’s get started!
ASD covers a group of conditions that reflect challenges in social interactions, speech, communication skills, and repetitive behaviors. It has many subtypes, impact levels, and associated disorders. Some will need assistance for their entire lives, while others do not and can live independently. Genetics plays a role in most of the cases, although other factors increase the chances of someone being born with it.
Adults with ASD may exhibit different behaviors than those younger than them. Adult ASD symptoms include:
- Challenges conversating with others
- Understanding other’s emotions
- Challenges regulating emotions
- Repetitive behaviors
- Involuntary noises such as repeatedly clearing their throat
- Trouble understanding sarcasm or jokes
ASD is more common in males, but the “why” is not so clear. Some research suggests that those diagnosed with ASD have brains that are anatomically more male-like. Others indicate the testing that is used is based on male characteristics, and so more women may be misdiagnosed.
There is no shortage of the myths and stigma that surround ASD. Some people think that if you have ASD, you act just like Dustin Hoffman in “Rain Man.” This not true. No two people have the same characteristics with ASD. Here are some other typical myths and the truths behind them:
- “Vaccines cause autism.”
- Truth: Vaccines do not cause autism. The original study published in 1997 by a British surgeon has been discredited. In addition, numerous studies have debunked this myth.
- “Autism is the result of bad parenting.”
- Truth: ASD is coded into the genetics of the vast majority of cases. The 1950’s “Refrigerator Mother” theory contributed to this ridiculousness, citing that mothers who lacked emotional warmth caused ASD.
- “If you have ASD, you are intellectually disabled.”
- Truth: ASD can mean just as many exceptional abilities as it does challenges. Individuals diagnosed can have IQ’s in the typical to high ranges.
Learning More About ASD Through Research
Clinical research studies help substantiate information around medical conditions like ASD. The information learned sets the foundation for improving how these conditions are detected and managed.
Evolution Research Group routinely conducts autism studies evaluating potential new options at our Rogers, AR location. To get involved in future study opportunities, click here.