There are many myths surrounding autism.
A common misconception is that it is caused by vaccination; another is that children with autism can't learn or that it is due to bad parenting.
What is true, though, says Autism Awareness Australia's Elizabeth Sarian, is that there's no 'one' autism, and it is highly individual, with no two people presenting in the same way.
April is Autism Awareness Month across the globe. It aims to raise awareness surrounding autism and highlight the need to help improve the quality of life of people with the diagnosis so they can lead full and meaningful lives.
A good start is to know that - put simply - people with autism process the world differently.
"Autism spectrum disorder comes with a whole host of myths and misconceptions," said Elizabeth, the organisation's chief operating officer.
"It is a disorder that has been very much misunderstood in the past, from the concept of 'refrigerator mothers' to the idea that everyone with autism is like 'Rain Man'."
She said a common belief is that kids with autism don't want to make friends, and in most cases, this is far from the truth.
"There are some children and adults who are very aloof and who choose to keep away from other people to a great extent. But the majority of children and adults on the spectrum do like to socialise.
"Many autistic people want and crave friendships; they often just find them more challenging to maintain. Autistic people don't follow the same social rules as their neurotypical peers, and that can often lead to misunderstandings and miscommunication."
Another myth relates to love and relationships.
"Some people believe that people with autism don't want a relationship; again, not true. Most people with autism very much want to be in a relationship; it's about finding the right partner who will accept their differences and be accommodating.
"They often just need to find love and relationships on their own terms," Elizabeth said.
So, what is true?
Autism is a developmental condition that is typically life-long.
People with autism experience difficulties with communication, social interaction and restricted/repetitive interests and behaviours.
These are often accompanied by sensory issues, such as an oversensitivity or under sensitivity to sounds, smells or touch.
All of these difficulties may lead to behavioural challenges in some individuals.
Autism Awareness Month starts on April 2. You can participate by sharing information about autism on social media, displaying posters in your workplace, school or community centre or donating via groups such as autismawareness.com.au.
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