Correcting Common Autism Myths – 10 Facts about Autistic People

Hey everyone, NeuroRebel here, and there are a lot of things you should know about Autistic people, but  I’ve narrowed it down for you. So stay tuned.

  1. Each Autistic Person is Unique.
  2. Autistic people often have sensory processing differences – sometimes referred to as SPD.
  3. Calling Autistic People Low or High Functioning isn’t helpful.
  4. There is NO CURE for Autism. Autism is a lifelong difference.  
  5. Vaccines DON’T Cause Autism.
  6. It’s not just little boys who are Autistic.
  7. Autistic people are known for hyperfocus / not being able to let things go. 
  8. Autistic People don’t always communicate in the ways that neurotypical people do. 
  9. We don’t lack empathy – some of us feel too much. 
  10. Meltdowns suck – WAY MORE for the person having them then for the person watching them. 

Transcript:

Hey everyone, NeuroRebel here, and there are a lot of things you should know about Autistic people, but  I’ve narrowed it down for you. So stay tuned.

[00:00:45] The first thing that I would like for you to know about Autism and Autistic people is that each and every single Autistic person is different. We all have our own strengths and our own weaknesses and opinions, and even  different ways of processing information, motor skills, and even different and unique sensory processing differences and sensory profiles.

[00:01:15] This brings me to fact number two. Sensory processing differences – SPD – sometimes referred to as sensory processing disorder.

[00:01:27] Autistic people often will have sensory processing differences, but the ways in which we experience those are very different from person to person and what may be fine, or even enjoyable to one Autistic person can be painful  to the next Autistic person.

[00:01:48] These sensory processing differences and senses are also very unique from Autistic person to Autistic person. What I love might be something that the next Autistic person hates and vice versa.

[00:02:01] Third fact, calling Autistic people high or low functioning, isn’t helpful at all.  There are a few reasons for this.

[00:02:10] One general problem with the high and the low functioning labels is that when you say to a person that you are saying, “Oh, you’re high functioning” a lot of times that is meant to be  a compliment, but  also dismissing the struggles that that person experiences  as an Autistic person. Remember we said earlier each and every Autistic person has a very different experience.

[00:02:31] When we look at describing someone who is being dismissed as low functioning, it puts them in a light to where we are more likely to ignore that person strengths their skills and dismiss the things that they are good at.

[00:02:47] These labels tend to be doing more harm than good for Autistic people.  Many Autistic people, myself included, push to stop the use of these types of functioning labels.

[00:03:00] Another very important Autism fact is there is no cure for Autism, nor do I want one.

[00:03:09] Autism is a lifelong neuro developmental difference.  My coping mechanisms and my methods and how I deal with the world may change and evolve as I grow older.

[00:03:22] I am always, always, always going to be Autistic. I was born Autistic. I will die Autistic.  Autism is a huge part of who I am and that’s because it impacts how I experience the world and how I relate to other people.

[00:03:39] Fact, number five, halfway through the list. This is important as well… vaccines do not cause people to be born Autistic.

[00:03:53] I said people to be born Autistic earlier. Right?

[00:03:55] We are born Autistic. It is not caused by vaccines or some other chemical reaction. 

[00:04:02] Unfortunately there have been some bad studies out there and people who have actually been disproven and doctors who have had their licenses removed and many studies trying to duplicate the results to say that vaccines cause Autism have not been able to do so.

[00:04:19]Science and the world is confident that vaccines do not cause Autism.  If anything, it is looking like Autism is more than likely genetic, and so that means SEX causes Autism.

[00:04:33] Though, historically white young boys have had the most media attention and access to Autism diagnosis throughout the years, there are autistic people of all nationalities, races, and genders.

[00:04:52] They are just not as well represented or do not have the access to being diagnosed and those resources that other groups have had. That’s why we see these myths that Autistic is a young boy’s condition where this is very inaccurate.

[00:05:12]Fun fact number seven, Autistic people are known and actually in the diagnostic criteria for hyper-focus slash not being able to let things go.

[00:05:23] When they want to say bad things about us, they say we are being obsessive. Yes. I can be a bit intense, and I sometimes fixate on things, and sometimes I struggled to turn things off and let things go.

[00:05:38] Yeah, this is hard, but this is also, for me, undeniably one of my biggest strengths. It is this inability to let things go that makes me the expert I am able to become in many different areas -because I have that very narrow focus where the thing is all I think about.

[00:06:03] I think that is it’s fricking awesome.

[00:06:09] Number eight.

[00:06:10] Eight is my lucky number. Anyone else have a favorite number? What’s your favorite number? Drop your favorite number below. If any other Neurodivergent people are into numbers or neuro-typical too –  what is your favorite number?

[00:06:20] I can’t be the only one who has a favorite number. Mine has always been eight and actually eight is like an infinity symbol. So that’s an interesting thing right there .

[00:06:30]But that’s not the fact. Fact number eight:

[00:06:33] Autistic people do not always communicate in the ways that neuro-typical people do.

[00:06:41] Those of us who do speak using our mouths may be overly communicative. Oh yeah. I’m like this.

[00:06:51] Some of us may experience situational periods where communicating in the traditional way becomes difficult or impossible.

[00:06:58] Some Autistic people do not communicate in the traditional way at all, and may communicate using other methods, such as alternative communication devices.

[00:07:07] Non-speaking does not mean not communicating. There are many ways and forms of communication.

[00:07:17] Number nine is one of the Autism myths that you, my viewers and readers, have said bothers you the most is that Autistic people lack empathy.

[00:07:29] No, we do not lack empathy. In fact, many Autistic people have very intense experiences of empathy and experience, very intense, deep feelings and emotions.

[00:07:42] Some of us may struggle to express these feelings , but so do non-autistic people and the point about this is there are different types of empathy and empathy is a spectrum. It is a spectrum that is varied among neurodivergent and neuro-typical people.

[00:08:02] Some Autistic people will experience different levels of empathy, just like some neuro-typical people will experience different levels of empathy. If anything Neurodivergent, and neuro-typical may have trouble empathizing with each other because we have very different experiences of the world. See Damon Milton’s double empathy problem for more.

[00:08:28] Empathy is one of those things that is going to be unique to each and every individual Autistic person. One Autistic experience. It’s not going to be the same as the next.

[00:08:39] Fact number 10: meltdowns suck way more for the person who is experiencing it then the people who are witnessing the meltdown from the outside.

[00:08:52] Meltdowns really, really, really suck and Autistic people do not want to have meltdowns and when they have meltdowns, it is because they are very, very overwhelmed and feeling particularly panicked and anxious a lot of the times.

[00:09:08] When a person is having a meltdown, they need to a little bit of compassion from you and everyone around.

[00:09:15] Thank you all so much for joining me this week for the 10 facts about Autism video inspired by your comments on the NeuroRebel social media channels – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

[00:09:27] Be sure to follow and connect with me and comment on all of these channels to help shape the direction of the NeuroRebel content. 

[00:09:35] If you have a suggestion, topic, or request for a future upcoming video, be sure to drop it in the comments below, because it is always my priority to put out content that is useful, helpful, and educational for you.  So I  want to know what it is that you would like to learn about.

[00:09:51] A very huge and special thank you to the Neurodivergent Rebel Patreon supporters and Facebook subscribers who actually had access to this video probably about a month in advance, because I put out all the videos, as soon as I’m done creating them for those subscribers early.

[00:10:08]Only one video comes out a week publicly, so they’ve got a backlog of videos, probably about four or five videos at any given time that are not yet out to the public. It’s just a very small way. I can say thank you to those of you who are helping me to continuously put out high quality educational content.

[00:10:27] I could not do this without you. Thank you so much.

[00:10:30]If you would like to subscribe, be sure to check out NeuroRebel on Facebook or Patreon for more.

[00:10:35] Thank you to everyone for being here and for your continuous support. I couldn’t do it without each and every one of you.

[00:10:40] I will talk to you next Wednesday. We’ll see you again.

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2 thoughts on “Correcting Common Autism Myths – 10 Facts about Autistic People

  1. Thank you for this video – especially for mentioning number six and number eight. As people become more aware of autism, they will see that it’s not just something seen in young boys. People are now being diagnosed later and later in their life, some people even in their 60s. Husband was diagnosed at 28.

    Number eight also struck a chord with me – Husband had a very poor experience at an eye clinic where how the staff were treating him meant he was left feeling quite distressed. When that happens, he clams up – that does NOT mean he can’t understand you!
    So when the consultant, upon not getting an immediate answer to his question, started saying in a loud voice ‘Hello? Can you hear me? CAN YOU UNDERSTAND ME??’ I had to step in and say that he can hear and understand you perfectly well, but he’s scared and anxious.

    Like

  2. I love this. The older I get the more convinced I become that this spectrum includes me (full disclosure: OCD symptoms since I was 9, and diagnosed at 34, then diagnosed with ADHD at 48). Tons of anxiety since forever, which can lead to depression. Thought I was totally self aware but can now see, that well, not so much. I have been using the term high-functioning in general, as in high-functioning for a person with potentially impactful MH issues. At one point I was University Prof. with a genetics lab, and so your comment that “SEX causes autism” is hilarious (for me). Reminds my of my psychiatrist, who is now our couples counsellor, “You know, marriage is the first step to getting a divorce . . . “
    Actually, it is in this arena, long-term intimate relationship issues, that I first began to suspect, from the run-of-the-mill self-help books that make assumptions, assumptions which don’t feel like they apply to me, that maybe I was different.

    Like

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