5. A child with autism likely will lead to his parents divorcing. “Eighty percent” – that was the statistic that kept getting thrown around as the divorce rate among families with autism. Those statistics never made sense to me because the vast majority of couples I know with children on the spectrum are still together. I once had an opportunity to spend a weekend at a retreat with 29 other moms of children with special needs, and only two of the moms were divorced. It turns out, a 2010 study officially debunked this myth.
6. People with autism do not lie. I’m pretty sure this fib was started by someone with autism. When Evan was younger, it was true – we never, ever caught him in a lie. For some reason, that changed a few years ago. Fortunately for us, like most young kids, he’s really bad at it.
Just the other day he called his brother a “fat, stupid pig.”
The entire family heard it.
When confronted with a stern motherly, “What did you say?” Evan’s first response was: “Nothing.”
I asked him again.
“I said, ‘love you.’”
These interactions remind me of the main character in the book “David Gets in Trouble,” by David Shannon. Even when all the evidence points to young David as the culprit of mischief, he always has an answer.
“It was an accident!”
“I didn’t mean to.”
“No! It’s not my fault.”