Autism is part of a group of developmental disorders referred to as autism spectrum disorders or ASD. While the number of ASD cases is increasing, there remains a lot to be learned about ASD and its causes. This lack of understanding as contributed to a number of myths regarding ASD.

Parents can cause autism.
While the exact cause of ASD is not known, it is clear that parenting style and behavior do not cause ASD. Recent studies suggest that genetics, metabolic and neurological factors affecting brain development, and even infections may play a role in the development of Autism.

It is impossible for individuals with ASD to learn social and communication skills.
Individuals with autism can learn basic skills and lead successful, productive lives. The key is early intervention. New diagnostic tools, such as the saliva DNA test offered by Courtagen Life Sceinces, are making is possible to diagnose developmental delays such as ASD earlier than ever before. This allows parents to get earlier access to services and support and can improve long-term prognosis.

Individuals with ASD lack feelings and empathy.
Individuals with ASD have the same feelings as everyone else. They are simply unable to spontaneously develop the social and communication skills to demonstrate these feelings.

Autism can be cured.
There is no cure for autism. Early intervention with individualized education and services can help those with ASD overcome many of the developmental and cognitive issues arising from ASD.

All individuals with ASD have cognitive deficits.
Cognitive deficiencies are not a part of an ASD diagnosis. Many individuals with ASD have varying levels of cognitive deficiencies while others have none.

All persons with ASD are savants.
Some individuals with ASD may have highly evolved skills in certain areas such as art, music, or math, others do not. Many people with ASD have areas of intense interest that may lead them to acquire a great deal of knowledge in a particular field.

Vaccines cause Autism.
The 1998 study suggesting a link between autism and vaccines has been widely discredited.

ASD symptoms worsen with age.
ASD is not degenerative. Both children and adults can improve if provided supportive services.

ASD diagnoses have increased dramatically in recent years. Early diagnosis and proper therapies can help children with ASD reach their full potential. Behavioral, speech, and occupational therapy, as well as medication, can all help children with ASD improve their ability to function.

Author's Bio: 

Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn't on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on twitter: @RachelleWilber