There are many misconceptions and myth surrounding autism. Combating some of these as a parent can be difficult.
#1 If your child has autism they must be gifted.
My thoughts are that the movie Rainman (1988) featuring Tom Cruise had something to do with this myth. Although some children my have an aptitude for a specific topic or demonstrate in depth understanding about something much of this comes from the restrictive and repetitive behaviors that are a symptom of autism. Yes, your child may be gifted but having autism does not mean they will be.
# 2 Autism is caused by bad parenting.
Research is still unclear as to what factors are responsible for autism. The Associations for Science in Autism Treatment (ASAT) has been working on research to help provide some answers to our many questions. In the 1950’s a theory called “refrigerator mother hypothesis” arose and suggested that autism was caused by mothers who lacked emotional warmth. This theory has long been disproved! ASAT provides a great free resource for parents, educators, and children or adults with autism. ASAT resources include a wealth of literature and information regarding Diagnosis and Treatment and Evidence based treatments. Knowledge is power!