If you google the word “autism”, the search engine returns 21,000,000 results. It’s obvious that the knowledge and awareness of autism has grown immensely in the last ten years with the evolution of the internet, but the vast amount of information found can be overwhelming and sometimes inaccurate. We put together some interesting facts about autism you may not have heard about with help from our partners, the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism, the National Autism Association, and Generation Rescue.

Autism affects one in every 50 schoolchildren in the United States.

Autism is the fastest growing disability in the United States and it is growing at 14% per year around the world.

There is no blood test, no scan, and no image that can detect autism. Diagnosis relies on behavioral observation and screening.

It is widely speculated that Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Andy Warhol, and even Bill Gates are on the autism spectrum.

Autism is more common than childhood cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined.

One common myth is that individuals with autism are not affectionate. This is not true. Although, they may be oversensitive to touch, they can and do show affection.

Another common myth is that individuals with autism are not interested in social interaction. While they often struggle with knowing how to make and keep friends, they do like people around and are capable of interacting socially, but may need to be explicitly taught the hidden social rules.

Roughly half, or 49%, of children with autism attempt to elope from a safe environment, a rate nearly four times higher than their unaffected siblings.

Between 2009 and 2011, accidental drowning accounted for 91% total U.S. deaths reported in children with autism subsequent to wandering.

There is no known cure for autism. However, early diagnosis and early behavioral-based interventions can help children to better develop the communication and social skills needed to improve their functional abilities.

Credits: Lisa Borges, Executive Director of The Doug Flutie, Jr., The National Autism Association, and Generation Rescue.