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But while it’s not fully understood, there are some things that doctors and scientists do know about it – and unfortunately, contrary information often makes it into mainstream consciousness. Here are 12 myths and misconceptions about autism we’d like to help clear up…
1. There’s No Proof Vaccines Cause Autism
This is something you probably hear quite regularly, and it was apparently sparked by a 1998 study linking a particular vaccine with autism. Even thought the study was retracted, the myth still lives on – perhaps more strongly than ever, partly due to celebrities jumping on the bandwagon over the years.
As Parents.com points out, there is no link between autism and vaccines. The timing of vaccines often coincides with the first signs of autism, which may also be driving the perceived correlation, adds the source. However, lack of eye contact very early in life (at 2-months) is now considered a warning factor, and that’s before any vaccines are administered, it notes.