April marks Autism Awareness Month, which focuses on increasing awareness and understanding of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). People with ASD may learn, communicate, and behave in ways that are different from others. Learn more about ASD below, and click on our tip sheets to find additional resources, including ways that you can help support others around you who may be impacted by ASD.

  1. In the United States, 1 in 68 children is diagnosed with autism. Boys are 4.5 times more likely to be identified with ASD than girls.[1]
  2. Signs and symptoms of autism often start between 12 and 18 months of age. Sometimes a child will develop normally until the second year of life, then develop autism. [2]
  3. Some people have had concerns that autism is caused by childhood vaccinations. However, extensive research over the past twenty years has shown there is no link between vaccinations, or the ingredients in vaccinations, and ASD. [3]
  4. Children with ASD are prone to wandering or bolting from a safe, supervised place. This common behavior can cause great stress for families. [4]
  5. People with ASD often suffer from other medical conditions which may include allergies, asthma, epilepsy, digestive disorders, obesity, persistent viral infections, sleeping disorders, and more. [5]
  6. While many children with autism also have intellectual disabilities, almost half (about 44 percent) have average to above average intellectual ability. [6]
  7. Although there is no cure for ASD, there are early intervention services to help children from birth to three years old learn to talk, walk, and interact socially with others. [7]
  8. Many children with ASD are not diagnosed as early as they could be. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends autism screening for all children twice before 24 months. [8]
  9. Children with special needs, including ASD, may be eligible for treatment services under state and federal laws including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). [7]
  10. Autism itself does not affect life expectancy. However, studies show that the mortality risk among people with autism is double that of the general population, largely due to accidents. [9]

There are many resources to turn to if you are looking to learn more about Autism spectrum disorder.  Begin your search here:

Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

How to Support Parents of Children with Autism

Resources for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Prevalence and Characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder Among Children
  2. Autism Speaks: FAQ
  3. Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism
  4. Autism Speaks: Autism Wandering
  5. National Autism Association: Autism Fact Sheet
  6. Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Data & Statistics
  7. Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Facts About ASD
  8. American Academy of Pediatrics: Autism
  9. Autism Speaks: Mortality and Cause of Death in Autism Spectrum Disorders