Currently in the United States, 1 in 88 children will be born on the autism spectrum. It is almost five times more prevalent in boys; 1 in 54 boys will be born on the spectrum.
With that said, I think it is very important for people to understand autism. I highly recommend the book, Thinking in Pictures by Temple Grandin, Ph.D. Dr. Grandin is an animal scientist who has designed over one-third of all the livestock-handling facilities in the United States. She tells her fascinating story of what it is like to be autistic, how she thinks in pictures, and the struggles she has had to overcome.
There is also a movie based on her life that I couldn’t more highly recommend. It is called, Temple Grandin, staring Claire Danes. It is excellent–one of my all time favorite movies.