Debunking the Myths of Autism

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April is Autism Awareness Month

In celebration of Autism awareness month, I wanted to share a sweet message that my good friend, and badass wedding photographer shared in honor of her son, Evan. By Ailyn La Torre Hemminger

Be kind…we are all different. There is still so little education and awareness about children/people with autism…

In our experience here are a few MYTHS and truths about AUTISM:

1. “People with autism don’t want or need friends”: FALSE.
My son loves kids, he wants to participate and wants so badly to belong, he wants friends, loves to make connections. Yes he has a hard time with social skills, yes he is learning, yes he wants friends.

2. “People with autism don’t have a sense of humor”: FALSE.
We know so many kids and people with autism who are funny as hell. They laugh at things they find funny which we may or may not understand…but just like any other human being, some things are funny to certain people and not others. Evan loves to laugh at his daddy or sister being silly, he loves to laugh with our puppy and has one of the best laughs and giggles in the world.

3. “People with autism can’t feel emotions”: FALSE. 
People with Autism have a hard time expressing feelings like “most” people, but this is not the same as not having feelings. Evan feels all the emotions sometimes even more intensely than most. He feels happiness, joy, sadness, loneliness, love, compassion, anger, and understanding. He knows when someone is talking about him – good or bad…even though he may not always be able to show it.

4. “All people with autism are savants”: FALSE. 
Just like other human being, some people with autism are extremely talented and extraordinarily good are some things…and others are not.

5. “People with autism are dangerous or dumb”: FALSE. 
People/children with autism are misunderstood. The “stimming” (examples: flapping hands, jumping, twirling, counting things, repetitiveness of a same action, etc” ) is a way to release the overwhelming feelings of too much sensory information at once or a way to express their nervousness/anxiety …these “odd” movements may look scary but mostly they are completely innocent and more of way used to calm themselves down.

Be KIND. Be PATIENT…you can’t “see” autism just by looking at someone…Sometimes, the best way to help is to be compassionate and kind.

Living with autism is not an easy journey…a supportive community makes all the difference in our world. We are blessed with an amazing family, wonderful neighbors and loving and inclusive friends…you know who you are.

Thank you- we love you. Evan loves you 

Follow Ailynn on Facebook and Instagram.

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Author: Smother Mother Kate

Katelyn isn't a regular mom. She's a cool mom and creator of The Smother Mother.

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