A social media campaign has been launched to challenge common misconceptions of autism.
The National Autistic Society (NAS) is using Twitter to attempt to dispel popular “myths” about autistic spectrum disorders (ASD). Every day, the charity is tweeting an autism “myth”, closely followed by a corresponding fact about the condition.
While campaigners across the world have done much to improve autism awareness in recent decades, the NAS says that false and often negative perceptions of the condition are still commonplace. For example, many people think that all those with autism are autistic savants, like Dustin Hoffman’s character in the film Rain man, while in reality only around one per cent of those with the condition have an accompanying special ability.
The charity believes that this lack of understanding can make it difficult for people with autism to get the support they need. Misconceptions can lead to some people with autism feeling isolated and alone. In extreme cases, it can also lead to abuse and bullying.
The Twitter campaign, which started on 1 November, will run until World Autism Awareness Day on 2 April 2013. It can be followed at: