Click here to learn how to become a smart parent and raise a happy child.

4 Common Myths About
Neuroatypical Children

4 Common Myths About Neuroatypical Children...

4 Common Myths About Neuroatypical Children
...Neurological disorders are not easy to explain, and that is a large part of why there are so many myths about them.

Parents of neuroatypical children know that there is a lot of bad information circulating that pertains to children with autism, ADHD, and other neurological disorders.

Unfortunately, the persistence of these myths means that the public perception of neuroatypical people and their families is incorrect; often negatively so.

Myth #1: Bad Parenting Can Cause Neurological Disorders

It's difficult enough to parent a neuroatypical child without having to worry that perhaps there was something you could have done to prevent your child having a neurological disorder in the first place.

Feelings of guilt can sometimes be very pervasive, but they're feelings that are entirely misplaced.

It's true that the true causes of neurological disorders like autism are still unknown, but it is well established that parenting styles and skills have no influence over whether a child will develop epilepsy, ADHD, or an autism spectrum disorder.

The small-very small-seed of truth in this myth is that parents and caregivers who aren't able to cope effectively with a child with ADHD might find that the child's symptoms grow worse, or fail to improve.

Note, however, that this is not the same thing as causing the ADHD. The good news is, learning new parenting techniques can help improve the child's symptoms, even though it won't cure the disorder.

Myth #2: Autism Spectrum Disorders Are Caused By Vaccination

This myth has been thoroughly debunked, but unfortunately it's one that continues to linger.

The truth of the matter is that only one study has ever found evidence of a link between vaccination and autism-and the British former doctor who carried out this study was struck from the medical register after it became known that he had falsified the data that "proved" the link.

This is not just a case of bad science, but a case of deliberate intent to defraud by publishing false data, in what the British Medical Journal has called a "deeply shocking" breach of trust.

Myth #3: The Child Will "Grow Out of It"

This is more of a partial myth, because the truth of it depends on which neurological disorder you're talking about, so it's easy to get confused here.

One thing that clouds this issue is that symptom patterns change over time-some patterns grow weaker, while others grow stronger-and this can contribute to the idea that a child is growing out of his or her disorder even if that might not be the case.

Another point is that it is in fact possible for children to grow out of seizure disorders such as epilepsy, but this possibility doesn't extend to all neurological disorders.

A 2010 study found that as many as 70% of children with epilepsy are seizure-free, without medication, by the time they reach 20 years old.

In contrast, around a third of children with ADHD still have the condition when they reach adulthood.

The situation is much more complicated for children with autism spectrum disorders.

In cases where a child with autism seems to grow out of it as he or she grows older, the change can more accurately be attributed to the hard work of the child and his or her caregivers in terms of learning how to cope with the world.

When asked, autistic adults-some of whom may appear to be neurotypical-tend to say that they still "feel" autistic, and work hard to overcome obstacles that are easily navigated by neurotypical people.

Myth #4: Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders Don't Feel or Understand Emotion

This myth persists because even though a child with autism is capable of forming relationships and feeling emotions, he or she does not express their emotions in ways that neurotypical people can easily recognize.

People with autism and related disorders certainly do feel emotions; however, they do have trouble processing and expressing their emotions, and in understanding the nonverbal cues of other people.

For example, a person with autism is less likely to be able to pick up emotional cues such as facial expression or physical gestures, and similarly might be unable to express their own emotions in these ways.

It's true that these and other problems mean that people with autism spectrum disorders find it difficult to form social connections, but they absolutely are able to form healthy relationships with other people.

Download a FREE Chapter of my new ebook "The Smart Parenting Guide" and discover an easy-to-follow guide for raising a happy, positive, responsible and caring child.

Plus get 2 other FREE gifts... "10 Tips To Prevent or Subdue Temper Tantrums" & "12 Safety Devices To Protect Your Children"

The Smart Parenting Guide
Don't worry -- your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you "Your Child & You" Newsletter.

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave us a comment in the box below.

Didn't find what you were looking for? Use this search feature to find it.

Return from 4 Common Myths About Neuroatypical Children to Autism Symptom Checklist Home Page

Return from 4 Common Myths About Neuroatypical Children to Child Development Guide Home Page