If you’re raising a child on the autistic spectrum, or if you’re autistic yourself, you understand how negative stereotypes about autism can limit people’s opportunities to learn, work, participate, and grow.
For those who fall on the extreme end of the spectrum, where autism is frequently thought to be the most debilitating, it can be difficult to access opportunities easily afforded to those who fall on the “high functioning” end of the spectrum.
On the other hand, those considered to be “high functioning” can face challenging setbacks as triggering events occasionally bring their autism to the fore.
Despite significant advances in our medical understanding of autism, the general public still tends to perceive autism as a linear trait. They think of “high functioning” individuals as being only a little autistic, while they view those with more debilitating struggles as being very autistic.
But this simplistic view leads to negative stereotypes that can make it more difficult for autistic individuals to succeed.
In a recent comic strip published on Tumblr, Rebecca Burgess educates people on the common misunderstandings and stereotypes that make a huge difference in how those on the autistic spectrum interact with the world around them.
Her comic strip debunks the myth that people are either not autistic, very autistic, or somewhere in between. Instead, she points out that autism can show itself in a variety of different traits. Just as no two individuals are the same, no two autistic individuals experience autism the same way.
After releasing the comic during Autism Acceptance Week this April, Rebecca has been praised for her thoughtful contribution to the public understanding of autism.
Check out her full comic strip, “Understanding the Spectrum, below!