(All of these misunderstandings about autism, are ones I’ve had to personally deal with, most of them in face-to-face conversations. I recently had to deal with a bunch of these over a phone call.)
Autism is not the inability to speak; the fact my son can say words does not mean his diagnosis was wrong. Your cousin’s child is not the prototype of all autism.
Autism is not the inability to make eye contact; the fact that he can now look you in the eyes and smile does not mean he’s recovered from autism.
Autism is not of fixed severity. Some children get more severe, some get less severe, some stay at the same severity. If it doesn’t change or gets worse, it is not proof of bad parenting. If it does get better, it is not proof of good parenting. Just because my son has improved, doesn’t mean I can “fix” your friend’s child too. And while we’re on it…
Autism is not evidence of bad parenting; abuse and neglect doesn’t make a child autistic, and excellent parenting won’t protect your child from autism. How convenient for you that you can pronounce your parenting superior to my own, by virtue merely of my son’s autism. How nice that I could serve that purpose for you today.
Autism is not always accompanied by savant abilities or genius; no my son cannot solve your Rubik’s Cube. No it’s not amusing to think that his autism could be the source of you winning big in the casino.
Autism is not the alternative to catching measles; don’t ask me whether I would have preferred one over the other, as if your question is insightful and thought-provoking. The only thoughts you’re provoking are ones you wouldn’t want me to share.
I know you mean well, I know you care and you only say these things because you’ve heard them somewhere from someone at some time. And you think you might be able to save my son or improve his life, if only I knew what you knew…
But all you’re teaching me is how little you know, and how little you think before you speak. As it turns out…
Autism is not your area of expertise. So please don’t act and speak as if it was.