There’s something about the month of April that feels like a new beginning. The weather starts warming up, flowers start to bloom and we’re one step closer to summer. However, my personal favorite thing about April is that it is Autism Awareness Month. Some of the most amazing individuals I know are living with autism. What better time to educate yourself and increase your awareness than the present?! Here are 11 quick facts about autism that everyone should know.

1. Autism affects more than 3 million individuals in the United States.

2. One in every 68 children in America are diagnosed with autism.

3. Autism hinders the development and function of the areas of the brain associated with cognitive thinking, communication and social interaction.

4. Autism is more commonly diagnosed in boys than in girls.

5. Autism cannot officially be diagnosed until a child is between 18 and 24 months old, but signs can be seen as young as 8 to 12 months.

6. Autism is the fastest growing developmental disorder.

7. There is no single known cause of autism. However, scientists have associated several gene characteristics and environmental factors affecting early brain development with a link to autism.

8. There is no known cure for autism, but there are several treatments that help many of the challenging aspects of autism that some autistics experience.

9. Each diagnosed case of autism is unique, having varying levels of the diversity and severity of symptoms.

10. Autism Speaks is the worlds leading autism science and advocacy non-profit program, who’s funding is used to research autism, spread awareness and advocate for individuals and families living with autism.

11. There are several locations around the country where you can participate in a walk to raise awareness and money for autism research. Find one near you here.

All facts and information obtained from http://nationalautismassociation.org and https://www.autismspeaks.org. Head over to these sites to further increase your education about autism, discover support groups and aid for individuals and families affected, and find ways to donate and support.