Autism, Giftedness and Myths


Do you believe that a child with autism cannot be gifted?

Autism can be cured over time?

Only doctors can help children regarding autism?

As a Ph.D. in Education and a specialist in Special and Inclusive Education, I say no. This is based on my studies and research on Autism Spectrum Disorder - ASD. (Assouline et al., 2008; American Psychiatric Association-APA, 2013; Meleady, et al. 2020; Ministry of Health, 2014; Hirai, et al. 2020; Davidson Institute, 2020, PsychCentral, 2020, among others).

It is possible to define autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as a neurodevelopmental disorder with complex genetics, characterized by compromised social communication and repetitive behaviors and interests (Hirai, et al. 2020; Assouline et al., 2008).

It is a myth to think that the child with autism cannot also be gifted. There may be cases of children with autism who are also highly skilled in some area (s) of interest. This fact is called double exceptionality, when a child has two types of special educational needs (Assouline et al., 2008; Davidson Institute, 2020, PsychCentral, 2020).

It is also a myth to think that autism can be cured over time, or it passes with age, as some people think. It is essential that there is a treatment based on scientific research as soon as possible to help children with Autism Spectrum Disorder - ASD., In their social interaction, in their autonomy, among other issues that involve their daily life.

There are families and teachers who may not value early intervention, but the sooner the intervention is performed, the better results can happen! In the absence of therapy or if the treatment occurs late, the child is less likely to develop his/her abilities.

Finally, another myth is to think that only doctors can help children with autism. All help is important, especially if it is based on scientific knowledge. Medical intervention is very important for children with autism, but it is not the only help they can receive. Due to the wide range of disorders associated with autism, it is important that children with this disorder have the support of family, school professionals, people from their social environment, at all times.


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American Psychiatric Association-APA. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5 edicao) Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing. 


Assouline, S. G.;  Nicpon, M. F;  Colangelo, N.;  O’Brien, M. (2008). The Paradox of Giftedness and Autism.


Davidson Institute (2020). Gifted children with Asperger's Syndrome.,traits%20of%20a%20gifted%20child


Hirai, T.;  Usui, N.;  Iwata, K.;  Miyachi, T.  Tsuchiya, K. J.  Xie, M.J.;  Nakamura, K.;  Tsujii, M.; Sugiyama, T.;  Matsuzaki, H. (2020). Increased plasma lipoprotein lipase activity in males with autism spectrum disorder.


Meleady, J;  Nearchou, F.; Bramham, J. ; Carr, A. (2020). Family adaptation among parents of children on the autism spectrum without a comorbid intellectual disability:

A test of the Double ABCX model.


Ministério da Saúde (2014). Secretaria de Atenção à Saúde Departamento de Ações Programáticas Estratégicas. Diretrizes de Atenção à Reabilitação da Pessoa com Transtornos do Espectro do Autismo (TEA). 1 edição, Brasília.     


PsychCentral  (2020). Autistic and Gifted: Supporting the Twice-Exceptional Child.



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