10 Things I Bet You Didn’t Know About Autism



I have a passion for people with autism.  It is driven by my deep love for my daughter Kylie who has autism.  It has been my observation over the past 24 years that there is a great deal of confusion out there about the autism spectrum.  Kylie and my goal are to give people information to help them better understand people and families with autism.

10 Things I Bet You Didn’t Know About Autism

1. Autism costs a family $60,000 a year on average.

2. Autism affects over 3 million individuals in the United States.

3. About 40% of people on the autism spectrum have an average or above average intellectual abilities.

4. Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disorder.

5. If one identical twin is diagnosed with autism, the other twin has about a 90% chance of developing an autistic disorder.

6. Mothers who have an autoimmune disease like type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and celiac disease have up to three times greater risk of having a child with autism.

7. Autism is more common than childhood cancer.

8. Dogs have been shown to improve autistic children’s quality of life, independence, and safety.  The presence of a trained dog can reduce aggressive behavior calm the child and serve as a link to the child’s community.

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

10. People on the autism spectrum are affectionate and deeply care about other people.  It may not appear that they care but they do!


I hope this list will help you understand autism better.

For the record…Kylie agrees with number 8 on the list and would like everyone with autism in the world to be able to get a dog!  (Kylie just asked me to put this in 🙂 )




Order the book, Chosen: One Family’s Journey With Autism




What fact about autism surprised you the most?






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About The Author

Janelle Esker

Janelle Esker is the grateful wife of Michael and homeschooling mother of six amazing children. She lives with her family, 4 cats, 1 dog, 3 ducks and 12 chickens in scenic Ohio. Janelle received her B.A. in Education from Ohio Northern University. She is the author of CHOSEN: One Family’s Journey with Autism.


  1. Janelle Esker | 7th Feb 15

    Thanks for your comment Jay. I would respectfully disagree with you on number 4. Autism is on the increase. When my 24 year old daughter was diagnosed there were very few children being diagnosed with autism. Now…the numbers continue to grow which I do not necessarily think is a bad thing.
    As for number 7. I was not comparing autism with cancer. I was only comparing the numbers. I really do appreciate your comment and value your opinion! Please stop by again!

  2. Marilyn Webster | 21st Mar 15

    May I reprint this list in my church newsletter for autism awareness month?

    • Janelle Esker | 22nd Mar 15

      Hi Marilyn,
      I would be honored for you to use this list…you have my permission. Please let me know if I can be of any further help.

  3. Mama2eight | 7th Sep 15

    $60,000 a year? That’s a lot!

    • Janelle Esker | 7th Sep 15

      I know!! Therapy and education are the culprits! Thanks for your comment!

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