Friday, December 28, 2012

Myth: Individuals with Autism are a Danger to Society

There is a misconception --- likely fomented by the media and a susceptible public --- that children with autism spectrum disorders are somehow dangerous, or begin to exhibit dangerous behaviors, as they get older.  While this may hold true for some individuals living with autism, the same can be said for any neurotypical person.

In fact, with early and intense intervention, symptoms of children on the spectrum tend to improve rather than worsen.  While autism can never be cured, and a child certainly doesn’t grow out of it, with proper treatment, individuals can learn ways to cope with their condition.  Many, in fact, go on to lead successful, productive lives.

It is very rare to find a person with autism who is outwardly violent or who purposefully commits acts of hatred.  When someone on the spectrum is involved in aggressive incidents, they are usually instigated by frustration, sensory overload, and physical excess or similar stimuli.  Of course, as with anyone, there are exceptions to this, and other medical, mental, or behavioral factors may be evident as well.

If you’ve had other experiences or have anything you would like to add, please comment below.  I encourage thoughtful, stimulating conversation, regardless of your viewpoint.


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