13 Autism Myths Everyone Needs to Stop Believing
Myth: Children get autism from bad parenting
This myth tends to come from those who don’t fully understand autism and how it occurs in individuals. It’s the case of genetics versus environment, which has long been debated for autism, yet research continues to prove that autism is determined by genetics, not environment.
A report published in a Polish medical journal by Professor Karl Ernst v. Mühlendahl indicates that some individuals with autism may be more susceptible as a fetus or after birth to environmental agents that can affect certain symptoms, due to changes in hormones or neural receptors.
But it’s not the environmental factors themselves that cause autism. Therefore, bad parenting may exacerbate symptoms that are already there, but it won’t cause a child to develop autism. However, this goes for typically developing children as well. A neglected child, for example, likely won’t have the social or emotional skills needed to develop like his peers. Unfortunately, this is a myth that puts a lot of unnecessary stress on parents of children with the disorder.