Autism Awareness Catholic Charities Disabilities Services is proud to support many individuals with autism spectrum disorders and we are pleased to celebrate National Autism Awareness Month.Autism Awareness Month is a time to learn about autism and promote autism awareness, we hope the articles below are both informative and helpful. 10 Things That Everyone Should Know About Autism: Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder that is characterized by delays in communication and in social interaction. Individuals with autism often have unusual behaviors or interests; however, these delays, and unusual behaviors and interests are not always obvious. Autism affects 1 in 68 American children, and is 4-5 times more prevalent in boys than it is in girls. Autism is a spectrum disorder, meaning that its severity can range from very mildly symptomatic to much more severely symptomatic. Symptoms vary greatly and every person on the spectrum is different. Autism can be accompanied by intellectual disorder, attention deficit disorder, movement challenges, and sensory integration difficulties; however not everyone who has autism has all of these comorbid conditions. Approximately 40% of people who have autism have average to above average intelligence. About 25% of people who have autism are non-verbal. Autism is the fastest growing disability in the US and it is growing at 14% per year throughout the world. The exact cause of autism is unknown, but there is strong evidence that suggests it is an inherited disorder. People with autism often have problems with executive functioning skills, which are the skills that allow us to plan, focus attention, remember instructions, and juggle multiple tasks successfully. Difficulty in these areas can lead to frustration that can look like a behavior problem. People with autism are just as smart, funny, creative, and lovable as people who do not have autism.