Myths About Autism and Learning Abilities

Despite the rising prevalence of autism and the integration of those on the spectrum into neuro-normative peer-group classrooms, the myths surrounding autism and the learning abilities of autistic children are astounding. At SkyCare ABA, we practice on the belief of neuroplasticity and the ability that every child has the ability to reach their full potential. We’ve worked with hundreds of autistic children at varying places on the spectrum and are here to provide accurate information to parents, educators, and the general public. Join us today as we explore some of the myths and misconceptions about learning on the spectrum.

Myth: All individuals with autism have mental disabilities.

Each person on the autism spectrum is unique, with a wide range of intellectual abilities. Some children with ASD may have other mental or learning disorders, the conditions are not caused by each other, nor are they synonymous.

Myth: Children on the spectrum are smarter than other children.

Each child on the spectrum is unique, as is their IQ and academic abilities. The misperception that ASD children are smarter may come from the observed tactile abilities and advanced skills in some areas. However, it’s important to remember that children who struggle with interpersonal skills and communication, will direct their attention and energy inward. Where these children may be able to build a robot, their neuro-normative peers have the same abilities, but their energy is focused elsewhere. Children on the spectrum can be harder to test so IQ and
abilities can be under- or over-estimated. Tests designed to include language and interpersonal analyses may misrepresent the intelligence of people with autism, who struggle with
social skills.

Myth: Kids with ASD are savants.

Many children on the spectrum are visual learners or have a good visual memory. However, this is not the case for all autistic children and is not typically overly developed to the point of being a savant. In fact, only about 10 percent of individuals with autism exhibit savant abilities

Myth: An individual with ASD cannot learn or develop new skills.

This is 100% false! Autism is a spectrum, and everyone’s learning ability is different. As with all people, educating someone with ASD may require an understanding of their needs, abilities, and learning style. Individuals with Autism may require more understanding, method adaptation, and therapy to achieve the same level of learning, but some may not. Some may be even easier to teach than people or children without autism. Effective ABA therapy has been proven effective at promoting the adaptation of knowledge and skills in functional ways.

The Truth About ASD And Learning Abilities

Common learning advantages that autistic children may possess that can be directly related to their diagnosis include:

  • Learning to read at a very early age (known as hyperlexia).
  • Memorizing and learning information quickly, with an extraordinarily good memory.
  • Being precise and detail orientated Thinking and learning in a visual way.
  • Advanced logical thinking ability and capability for alternate problem-solving.
  • May excel in academic areas such as science, engineering, and mathematics as they are technical and logical subjects that do not heavily rely on social interaction.
  • Exceptional honesty and reliability.
  • Having an excellent sense of direction.
  • Able to concentrate for long periods of time when motivated.
  • A drive for perfection and order — often exhibited in punctuality and adherence to rules.
  • Schedule and routine driven.

Reach Higher With SkyCare ABA

At SkyCare ABA, we understand that every child with ASD is just as unique as children who are not on the spectrum. We believe that every child has the ability to learn and the right to the education and therapy that affords them the opportunity to reach their full potential. Overcoming misperceptions and correcting myths is a small part of what we do in an effort to educate the community, educators, and parents about the unlimited possibilities autistic children possess. For the ASD treatment your child deserves, connect with us today!