Things I Wish People Knew About Autism
THINGS I WISH PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT AUTISM
1. STEREOTYPES CAN BE HARMFUL.
When you ask the average person to name an autistic person in popular culture, most of them will respond with Rain Man or Sheldon Cooper on “The Big Bang Theory.” These are one-dimensional characters who project very different portraits of people on the spectrum. Expecting every autistic person to be like Rain Man or Sheldon is damaging.
People on the spectrum have the same range of intelligence as everyone else. Expecting them to be savants is a harmful stereotype.
2. PEOPLE WITH AUTISM HAVE FEELINGS.
Since people with autism are reputed to be “unsympathetic,” people may have the mistaken impression that they do not care about what is going on around them. According to neuroscientist Rachel Moseley, a new study found that autistic children felt stressed by photographs of people who were upset or in distress. Just because they may not show emotion in the ways we are accustomed to doesn’t mean that they are not deeply affected.