Autism Stereotypes

Everything is stereotyped nowadays. Races, religions, minority groups, ethnicity. Everything. And the Spectrum is no exception. As an Autistic woman, I am stereotyped regularly but let’s be real, regardless of gender, everyone on the Spectrum is stereotyped in some shape or form. So today, I’m going to be bringing up a few common stereotypes that people on the Spectrum are often labelled as and I’m going to be debunking them (I’ll put the stereotypes in bold).
The first and probably one of the most common stereotypes is that Autistic people are really smart. This one isn’t exactly false but it’s not exactly true either. Some Autistic people are very smart! But others might not be as much. Most of the time, some Autistic people are smart and know a lot about the topics that they are interested in specifically. Take me for example, I am a huge lover of Disney. I love the movies, I love the shows, I love everything about it and dare I say, I do know a lot about Disney. It really just depends on your field of interest.
The second one and probably the most aggravating one for me is that everyone Autistic person is the same. I can assure you that this is most definitely NOT true. There’s a reason why it’s called the Autism SPECTRUM. On a side note, I have had my fair share of personal experiences with people saying “Oh, I know a lot of Autistic people and they don’t act the way you act”. Not everyone is the same in how they express themselves or how they deal with it. It depends on the person, what effects them and what makes them comfortable. I have traits that other people on the Spectrum don’t have and they have traits that I don’t have. I have actually done an Instagram post on it before which I’ll link here:
The next stereotype is that only males can be Autistic and I pretty much debunked that myself in a previous blog which I will also link here.
In short, females can be on the Spectrum too, but it isn’t very common as it seems to be harder to trace in women. However, there are some slight differences between Autism in females too. Like I said, I won’t get into it. You can read the blog to see more.
Another one that really ticks me off is that Autistic people don’t care. Again, this isn’t true. It can be hard for some Autistic people to register their emotions (including myself) but it does NOT mean we don’t care. Some people on the Spectrum are actually very empathetic and it can help them to be there for their family and friends!
One final stereotype is that it’s easy to recognise i.e the famous term “you don’t look Autistic”. I don’t really get offended by that term to be honest. When people learn that I’m Autistic, most of the time, it’s just their instinct to say it. There is a wide perception that because you have something hidden, you have to “look like” you have it. People with disabilities have to be in wheelchairs or else it isn’t true,  people with depression have to look sad all of the time, gay men have to be flamboyant and gay women have to look butch. Or else it isn’t true. This is not the case.
Telling a person that you don’t “look like” you have something is like telling a murderer that they don’t look like a murderer. Ted Bundy didn’t look like someone who’d murder people but we all saw how that turned out!
Moral of the story is simple. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover and in this case, don’t judge a book shelf by the books that line it!

Me, taking a selfie in front of a mirror.

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