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17 Autism Myths Doctors Wish You’d Stop Believing

Best Health Logo By Amy Boyington of Best Health | Slide 1 of 18: Since 1999, the puzzle piece ribbon has represented the Autism Society, a symbol of the neurological disorder's complexity. "Autism may be confusing to both ordinary people and professionals because some of its behavioural characteristics remind those of other, more common and better-described conditions, such as ADHD, anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and oppositional defiant disorder," explains Oksana Hagerty, PhD, a developmental psychologist at Beacon College in Leesburg, Florida. Newer brain research has moved from how we process concrete concepts like math and language to how the brain manages with more abstract concepts that play a role in autism—such as social and emotional intelligence. As neurologists gain a better understanding of the brain, they're able to debunk more and more myths about autism. These are the outdated beliefs doctors wish people would stop believing.

Why is autism still so confusing?

Since 1999, the puzzle piece ribbon has represented the Autism Society, a symbol of the neurological disorder's complexity. "Autism may be confusing to both ordinary people and professionals because some of its behavioural characteristics remind those of other, more common and better-described conditions, such as ADHD, anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and oppositional defiant disorder," explains Oksana Hagerty, PhD, a developmental psychologist at Beacon College in Leesburg, Florida.

Newer brain research has moved from how we process concrete concepts like math and language to how the brain manages with more abstract concepts that play a role in autism—such as social and emotional intelligence. As neurologists gain a better understanding of the brain, they're able to debunk more and more myths about autism. These are the outdated beliefs doctors wish people would stop believing.

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