5 Common Myths About High Functioning Autism


Autism truly is a spectrum disorder. Some people with autism exhibit more severe symptoms and face challenges that make daily life impossible without the help of a full-time caregiver. Others can often function in society with very few people knowing that they’re “different.” These people typically get diagnosed as having high functioning autism. But that doesn’t mean they don’t face challenges. We’ve debunked a few of the most common myths.

People with high-functioning autism are all geniuses.

The media loves to portray people with high-functioning autism as brilliant. And some of them certainly are, but that doesn’t mean that ALL people with high-functioning autism are inherently brilliant. They’re people and just like individuals not on the spectrum, they have different skills. Some are true scientific geniuses. Others are actors, artists, or even athletes. Some ace math exams. Others fail them miserably.

People with autism can’t go to college.

A diagnosis of high-functioning autism doesn’t have to stop a person from doing ANYTHING. They can go to college if they want or they can choose to go straight into the workforce. Remember, autism doesn’t mean a person is incapable of doing certain tasks. It just means their brain processes information differently.

People with high-functioning autism don’t date.

High-functioning autism is a neurological diagnosis. It doesn’t mean that the person won’t feel attraction to another person or identify as a specific sexual orientation. In fact, many people with autism have relationships that are very similar to people who aren’t on the spectrum. Their emotional capacity isn’t inherently stunted—it’s just different.

A diagnosis of high-functioning autism means they’re basically “normal.”

Again, autism is a spectrum disorder. Even within a certain diagnosis, there will be different challenges and different issues to manage. Some people with high-functioning autism may act “normal” save for one or two behaviors. Others may not be able to leave their house without help because certain stimuli are too triggering.

High-functioning autism means they don’t need help.

There are always challenges and stimuli that people on the spectrum, no matter how high-functioning, will struggle with. That means that most people can benefit from getting help from an experienced therapist and counselor.

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If you think you or your loved one is showing signs of autism spectrum disorder, don’t wait. Contact us to schedule a consultation and let our team help you understand what’s going on. An autism diagnosis doesn’t mean life can’t be wonderful—it just means that you’ll reach those happy endings a little bit differently. We treat many patients with high-functioning autism.