Media Influences on Perception of Autism Spectrum Disorders Among Children

Media Influences on Perception of Autism Spectrum Disorders Among Children

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Media Influences on Perception of Autism Spectrum Disorders Among Children

Question 1

Autism spectrum disorders constitute a set of diseases that affect neurological development, especially among children. As an outcome, healthcare institutions have focused intensely on the study of measures or elements that influence the occurrence of the disorder among children. In addition to this, studies have concentrated on discovering the treatment and management actions that could be implemented among children suffering from autism spectrum disorders. Nonetheless, a significant correlation between autism spectrum disorders and influences that are disseminated via the media is evident.

The fact that most people are insufficiently knowledgeable regarding autism spectrum disorders clearly identifies the extent to which the media bears a rather substantial impact on the majority. This assertion is based specifically on the degree to which many people possess little information concerning the disorder in question. In fact, in most cases, the media represents children that suffer from autism spectrum disorders as part of an epidemic (Sarrett, 2011). While the media engages in the dissemination of information, it does not offer a correct or appropriate representation of the disorder as intended by the scientific community. In fact, most of the images that the media utilize in response to autism spectrum disorders provide a rather negative representation of the affected children hence misinforming the greater public on the realities surrounding the disease.

Question 2

These findings are rather unsurprising due to the role that the media has consistently assumed in the provision of incorrect or insufficient information to the public. Aside from the scientific environment, the media has been accused over the years of being participatory in concealing the public from the truth concerning sensitive matters. For instance, in relation to the epidemiology of autism spectrum disorders, the media was once responsible for establishing the Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine is liable for the causation of autism among vaccinated children (Sarrett, 2011).

Rather than depend on actual findings, which rebuffed this information, the media focused on using an irrational and disreputable source (Sarrett, 2011). As such, it is unsurprising to see that the press has continued to engage in activities that grossly misrepresent autism spectrum disorders, especially regarding their implications for children (Sarrett, 2011). Accordingly, the media regularly churns out photographs and static images of ‘autistic’ children in a manner that renders them as helpless individuals despite the progress that has been made over the past few years. Interestingly, the strategies used by the media in the representation of the disorder contemporarily are similar to the tactics utilized in the 1960s, which succeeded adequately in misinformation.

Question 3

The findings of the study assert different implications for entities that are involved with the affected children on a routine basis. Foremost, the results show that the media has openly discarded the innovative developments that characterize schools in respect to the management of autism spectrum disorders. Accordingly, schools have been involved in intensive campaigns aimed at the inclusion of children with developmental learning disabilities within the standard education curriculum. This promotion has proven beneficial to autistic children who presently have an environment that allows them to learn collectively with other children without fear of discrimination and prejudice.

Aside from the implications for schools, the findings of the study have also posed considerable implications on homes. The misinforming representation of autistic children by the media subtly establishes a prejudicial and stereotypical illustration of the particular individuals that eventually gives a way for biased public perception regarding the individuals in question (Sarrett, 2011). Hence, more people are inclined to believe what the media projects while in the context of their homes rather than explore the actual experiences that autistic children undergo within their own community. In addition to this, homes to children that have autism spectrum disorders are subject to insensitivities that arise from the media’s depiction of these persons. This further affects them by limiting them from participating in activities aimed at improvement.

Question 4

Further research regarding the subject is required. Presently, the number of studies that focus on the correlation between media influences and perception regarding autism is limited considerably. In this respect, more studies should concentrate on the extent to which the media has affected the various aspects of autism spectrum disorders. For instance, research can focus on the implications that the media has imposed in relation to interventions scheduled for the management of autism. As noted in the study, the representations of the press of children suffering from autism-spectrum disorders have affected the measures that parents use to assist their affected offspring.

Because of the intensity of the photographs that depict autistic children in the setting of ‘professionals,’ more parents have become convinced that the only way to assist their children in managing the disorder involves committing or looking for alternative interventions that disincline from their homes (Sarrett, 2011). This notion is particularly imperative since it illustrates the extent to which the media has affected the treatment of autism spectrum disorders due to the implications it has imposed on homes. Using this as a striking illustration, further research on the subject is required to uncover the damage that media representations of autism spectrum disorders have imposed and whether such effects can be reversed.


Sarrett, J. C. (2011). Trapped children: Popular images of children with Autism in the 1960s and 2000s. Journal of Medical Humanities, 32(2), 141-153.

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