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This #AutismAwarenessWeek let's break down some of the most perfidious myths about #autism. Here's a list of what I think are the most harmful and unhelpful. Please share widely - we need people to know this stuff. #thread
1. #autism can be disabling. Many #autistic people see it as a disibility. However others do not see it in this way. This is a perfectly reasonable personal choice and should not be a source of confusion.
2. #Autism is not in itself a learning disability (though aspects of it can make learning harder!) However, autism can be comorbid with various learning disabilities.
3. #Autistic people *can* have successful relationships, marriage, children, etc etc. There is nothing inherent in #autism that precludes a romantic or sexual existence, though being aromantic or ace is maybe, possibly, anecdotally more common in the #autistic community.
4. #Autistic people feel empathy. In fact if seems a key element of #autism is, in fact, excessive empathy, albeit empathy that may not be communicated very well. Autistic people can be emotional sponges, absorbing everything.
5. #Autistic people can understand sarcasm and can be very sarcastic. However we may nor be great at identifying when it is being used, and can assume the best (or the worst) when dealing with sarcastic people...
6. #Autistic people understand imagery, metaphor and such, most of the time. We can be poetic and extremely creative. However we may struggle with metaphor used in rapid conversation, rather than in writing.
7. #Autism is prevalent in men, women and non-binary folk. Though rates of diagnosis are higher in men, there is growing evidence that this is simply a legacy selection bias as we learn more about it. It is probably more common than we currently believe.
8. #Autistic people are not necessarily enormously gifted in some specific, esoteric arena. The whole 'savant' idea is pretty harmful and best left in the past with Rainman.
9. #Autistic people are not necessarily introverted - we can be quite gregarious and fond of social contact though we all seem to share a need to be alone to recharge. The idea we're all loners isn't helpful.
10. #Autistic people can be excellent communicators, both in writing or in speech. Neither of these would preclude an autism diagnosis.
11. Non-speaking #Autistic people have opinions, ideas and can communicate in various ways. Read some blogs such as…
12. There is a sizeable overlap between #autism and the trans community. This means the intersections experience can be very challenging. This is also true for #autistic POC, who are hugely under-represented.
13. #Autistic people can hold down a job and have successful careers. They can also struggle to cope in a worm environment. Or both, depending on the circumstances. Again, none of this precludes a diagnosis of #autism.
14. #Autistic people can have very 'spiky' skills profiles. We're often either excellent at something or bloody awful at it. There's often not much in between. This is why we can all seem so different.
15. #autistic people are often viewed as 'troublesome', especially in school. This can often be because we are extremely intolerant of perceived injustices or unreasonable behaviour. This can get us into terrible trouble.
16. Basically #autism is really complicated and nuanced, differs from person to person and 8s really difficult to reduce down to a straightforward 'core'.
I hope this has been helpful. I'll add to it.

In the meantime, any contribution to help me keep going would be good. Can't actually buy coffee right now but can help with getting groceries delivered!
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