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Discrimination and Misconceptions Regarding Autism

What is Autism?

Autsim is a set of heterogenous neurodevelopment conditions which are characterized by early onset difficulties in social communication, accompanied by unusually restrictive, repetitive behaviours and interests.

There is no known single cause, right now research suggests a mix of environmental factors and genetic disposition

Major Misconceptions About Autism

Most believe that autism is a learning/functioning disability but in fact it is a communication disability

There is no two people with autism that are the same

The disorder functions on a wide spectrum, to which affects every individual differently

Those diagnosed with autism commonly experience other co-morbid diagnoses, such as learning disabilities, mental illness etc.

People diagnosed with autism have a "super ability"

How Discrimination Affects Those Diagnosed with Autism

While it is true that children with Autism Spectrum Disorder are increasingly being educated in mainstream school systems and that some employers are not actively seeking out staff with autism for particular jobs, we are still far from living in an "inclusive society"

Autism prevalence has increase over 100% in the last 10 years

There's a serious lack of funding for adults with autism based on the conception that it is a "childhood disease", 70% of adults with autism are not getting the help they need from social services and 70% say that they would feel less isolated with it.

1/2 adults experience mental illness due to this lack of support

Only 32% are in paid work, 16% of this work full-time

Only 10% of ASD individuals receive employment yet 53% want it

Every individual with autism is unique which makes it difficult to match them with the right support, either for school or in their personal lives

High percentage of children with autism are bullied in school (43%)

63% of kids with ASD are not in schools that their parents think are best for them

ASD individuals cannot express themselves the same way most others do

It is harder for these individuals to pick up on subliminal conversation elements, for example sarcasm, which inhibits them from connecting with their peers and communicating effectively with those around them

Autism is widely misunderstood and many kids go undiagnosed until early grade school which can be detrimental if they are to make any progress in treating their diagnoses

Autism in incurable but early intervention can make a large difference


Lai, M., Dr, Lombardo, M. V., PhD, & Baron-Cohen, S., Prof. (2014). autism. Lancet, the, 383(9920), 896-910. 10.1016/S0140-6736(13)61539-1