As the number of Americans diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders climbs, so, too, does the number of questions surrounding this disorder. Namely, what is autism, and what is causing a rise in autism diagnoses among adults and children nationwide?
Amid these questions, television shows and magazines feature a barrage of stories and imagery -- families rallying for and against vaccines, debates between medical experts pointing to both genetic and environmental causes, and images of individuals diagnosed with autism who struggle to speak and function independently, while others can interact with others and are able to hold jobs. For many, these competing messages may make this already complex condition even more confusing.
Fortunately, doctors and researchers are learning more about the causes and characteristics of autism.
The following are answers to 10 common myths, that may help us better recognize the range of symptoms we call autism spectrum disorders.
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