Autism spectrum disorders myths start out of a need for understanding
We know people with similar characteristics and think we know “this group.” Wrong-O. Whenever we take a human being and apply a box, we’ve missed it.
Think about it. Take all the complexities of you. Then mix all of your experiences, your heritage, and all of your quirks. Of course, a box won’t work.
The same holds true for someone with a disability. They are a unique human being. They happen to also be living with autism as well.
Here are just a few of the myths that we come across.
Disability means you are not smart.
Many disabilities have no effect on intelligence. Several do. Regardless, the goal is personal success. And a meaningful life is one in which we can contribute, love, and receive love in return.
People with disabilities are most comfortable with others who have disabilities
Well sure, sometimes. Most people like to hang around with others who are like them. A disability is a difference, and we are different from all of our friends is some way. Again the bottom line here is loving all the good times and memories you share, just like any friendship.
Remember to put the person first, not the disability.
Students with a disability should be in their own classroom
(IDEA) Individuals with Disabilities Act says that students with disabilities should be in the least restrictive environment (lre). Students with a disability need to be with their peer group for as much of the school day as possible. For example, students going to another class one time a day for extra help to being out of the regular classroom for most classes. A special education teacher can also work in the regular classroom to give help to the students with disabilities.
Special education accommodations give an unfair advantage
There needs to be room for everyone to succeed. Also, education is about opening doors, minds, and opportunities.
Special education accommodations provide assistance where there is a need. Whenever the needed supports are in place the teacher can step aside and encourage the student to work up to their ability.
People with disabilities don’t have a fulfilling life
Disabled individuals can work towards plans, goals, and dreams. Colleges, technical programs, and jobs are available for people with a variety of abilities. They form strong, happy relationships including marriage and having children. People with disabilities also work in a variety of jobs.
Disabilities require expensive, high-tech equipment
Not necessarily. While some equipment such as a wheelchair, lift, and adaptive equipment is necessary, with an established disability the cost is often covered through insurance or other assistance programs. However, extensive and expensive equipment are seldom needed to educate or employ individuals with disabilities.
Individuals are defined by their disability
A disability defines one aspect of someone’s life. Identify the person first with all of their uniqueness, personality patchwork, and combination of history and experiences that create the person that they are.
Special education students will always have a label
Labels are tricky. Often we require diagnosis or label to receive services for a particular disability. Then schools can deliver help and services to a disability that is defined.
Don’t confuse an individual with those criteria though. Every person has various labels that describe the parts of who they are. A person is the sum of all their experiences and unique traits.