What is autism, really? There is a lot of misconception about people with autism. Are they a different species of humanity? To debunk these myths, here are various peer-reviewed resources to clarify these misconceptions:
Peer-Reviewed Source No. 1: Raff, 2010
To start, Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD is a spectrum, and probably the reason for the apparent increase in the diagnostic criteria of Autism as it has expanded enormously.
Three Functional Levels of Autism:
- Level 1, which is regarded as high functioning autism, are Asperger kids, who have much less trouble with language.
- Level 2, the spectrum in the middle, in which patients may need substantial support.
- Level 3, which is considered Severe Autism, is the most challenging end of the spectrum. The patient’s social, communication, and repetitive behaviors severely impair daily life activities.
The defining features of autism are the three core features, such as:
- the problem with social interactions, which is often the heart of the matter, a problem with language,
- a tendency to have restricted interests and
- repeated stereotypic motor behaviors.
These are the so-called autistic triad, and you need to have two of the three and to develop them by the age of 3 to be considered autistic.
This media clip portrays real ASD patients in three different levels:
Peer-Reviewed Source No. 2: Elder Robison, 2018
Just like in the article “What is Autism” by John Elder Robison, the author talks about his struggle and point of view about his autism. Robison’s (2018) work of literature supports the media clip “Just Like You – Autism.” The author clarifies that his experience of the world is just as valid as anyone else’s. When he associates colors with sounds or see details others can’t, his knowledge of those things is just richer than that of others. The author calls this as a gift. He explains that when nonautistic people look at a machine and sees a problem that is impossible to understand, that too is a gift. This back-up the information in the media that people with autism are just like anyone else but different. Just like the media clip I choose, it talks about children with autism who are the same as other kids but different in their own ways.
This literature also supports the information in the media that people with autism require assistance, such as making friends and integrating into society. People with ASD ask for help communicating, and when medicine can’t provide answers, they turn to engineers. Now, formerly nonspeaking autistics are finding a voice through electronic technology and assistive devices.
More About Autism:
Peer-Reviewed Source No. 3: Barton, Gossett, Waters, Murray, and Francis, 2019
This research is about young children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), demonstrating fewer and less varied play behaviors than children with typical development. The study has shown that children with ASD do not engage in the same levels of spontaneous play as children without disabilities, even when matched for mental age and receptive and expressive language abilities. This research supports the information in the media clip from the service provider Autism Queensland, in which the child wasn’t responding to his name when he was a baby, didn’t play peek-a-boo, or won’t play with the grandmother or anyone else but himself.
This literature explains that play is a primary context for participation for young children with disabilities in early childhood settings.
Play skills contribute to children’s
- cognitive and
- language development
So based on the media clip, since the baby wasn’t participating in play, it affects his social and language development as well. Early Intervention, additional support, and further assistance that the child needs, as stated in the video, are essential for him to develop these skills.
According to my research, the media clips I choose got the facts right and provided clarity and specificity about autism. The viewers of these media clips can feel confident that he or she has been offered correct medical information on the truth about autism.
Barton, E., Gossett, S., Waters, M. C., Murray, R., & Francis, R. (2019). Increasing Play Complexity in a Young Child With Autism. Focus on Autism & Other Developmental Disabilities, 34(2), 81–90. https://doi.org/10.1177/1088357618800493
Elder Robison, J. (2018). What Is Autism? Psychology Today, 51(5), 48–50. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=asn&AN=131366722&site=ehost-live
Raff, M. (2010). Video Q&A: What is autism? — A personal view. BMC Biology, 8, 42–45. https://doi.org/10.1186/1741-7007-8-42