Autism Facts and Statistics
About 1 percent of the world population has autism spectrum disorder. (CDC, 2014)
Prevalence in the United States is estimated at 1 in 68 births. (CDC, 2014)
More than 3.5 million Americans live with an autism spectrum disorder. (Buescher et al., 2014)
Prevalence of autism in U.S. children increased by 119.4 percent from 2000 (1 in 150) to 2010 (1 in 68). (CDC, 2014) Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability. (CDC, 2008)
Prevalence has increased by 6-15 percent each year from 2002 to 2010. (Based on biennial numbers from the CDC)
Autism services cost U.S. citizens $236-262 billion annually. (Buescher et al., 2014)
A majority of costs in the U.S. are in adult services – $175-196 billion, compared to $61-66 billion for children. (Buescher et al., 2014)
In 10 years, the annual cost will be $200-400 billion. (Autism Society estimate)
Cost of lifelong care can be reduced by 2/3 with early diagnosis and intervention. (Autism Society estimate based onGovernment Accounting Office Report on Autism, 2006)
One percent of the adult population of the United Kingdom has autism spectrum disorder. (Brugha T.S. et al., 2011)
The U.S. cost of autism over the lifespan is about $2.4 million for a person with an intellectual disability, or $1.4 million for a person without intellectual disability. (Buescher et al., 2014)
Thirty-five percent of young adults (ages 19-23) with autism have not had a job or received postgraduate education after leaving high school. (Shattuck et al., 2012)
It costs more than $8,600 extra per year to educate a student with autism. (Lavelle et al., 2014) (The average cost of educating a student is about $12,000 – NCES, 2014)
In June 2014, only 19.3 percent of people with disabilities in the U.S. were participating in the labor force – working or seeking work. Of those, 12.9 percent were unemployed, meaning only 16.8 percent of the population with disabilities was employed. (By contrast, 69.3 percent of people without disabilities were in the labor force, and 65 percent of the population without disabilities was employed.) (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014)
Autism spectrum disorder is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and affects a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. Autism is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a “spectrum disorder” that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. There is no known single cause of autism, but increased awareness and funding can help families today.
Some of the behaviors associated with autism include delayed learning of language; difficulty making eye contact or holding a conversation; difficulty with executive functioning, which relates to reasoning and planning; narrow, intense interests; poor motor skills’ and sensory sensitivities. Again, a person on the spectrum might follow many of these behaviors or just a few, or many others besides. The diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder is applied based on analysis of all behaviors and their severity. In March 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued their ADDM autism prevalence report. The report concluded that the prevalence of autism had risen to 1 in every 68 births in the United States – nearly twice as great as the 2004 rate of 1 in 125 – and almost 1 in 54 boys.
The spotlight shining on autism as a result has opened opportunities for the nation to consider how to serve families facing a lifetime of supports for their children. In June 2014, researchers estimated the lifetime cost of caring for a child with autism is as great as $2.4 million.
The Autism Society estimates that the United States is facing almost $90 billion annually in costs for autism. (This figure includes research, insurance costs and non-covered expenses, Medicaid waivers for autism, educational spending, housing, transportation, employment, related therapeutic services and caregiver costs.)
Know the signs: Early identification can change lives
Autism is treatable. Children do not “outgrow” autism, but studies show that early diagnosis and intervention lead to significantly improved outcomes. For more information on developmental milestones, visit the CDC’s “Know the Signs. Act Early” site.
Here are some signs to look for in the children in your life:
Lack of or delay in spoken language
Repetitive use of language and/or motor mannerisms (e.g., hand-flapping, twirling objects)
Little or no eye contact
Lack of interest in peer relationships
Lack of spontaneous or make-believe play
Persistent fixation on parts of objects
News and Media
As we roll into "autism awareness month" tomorrow, I want to preemptively share a piece I think is well written and that I agree with. I take some comfort that this year "autism month" begins on what also happens to be Easter Sunday. For our family, our faith is what...
Repost from National Autism Association Kevin and Avonte's Law has passed and will help save lives in the autism community and beyond. To all of those through the years who made phone calls, wrote letters, and advocated for police training, wandering prevention...
I was asked a very compassionate question from a non-autism parent about how to respectfully support autism families in our community. Here was the question: I’m so sorry for your daily struggles and I certainly won’t pretend to understand. One question if you don’t...
Take a look at this link. The story covers what we parents have been asking from day one - what happens when our kids with autism become adults with autism if they are not able to take care of themselves? Sad. There is a quote here that calls this a "groundbreaking...
This is why autism is not to be "celebrated". It is not AUsome. That whole phrase is overused by well-meaning providers but offensive to us parents. Do NOT buy into the light it up blue propaganda we are all about to be fed next month during April autism "awareness"...
Someone sent this link to me and suggested I share. I agree with most of what it has to say... Autism is medical. Tyler was officially given the diagnosis of encephalopathy NOS many years ago by a neurologist, and then eosinophilic esophagitis, and then irritable...
I had so many autism moms of younger kids send me this after they saw my post that I took Tyler out for lemonade frozen ice in Fulshear by myself Saturday night. They know Tyler is 225 pounds 5'10" now and even after years of therapy still on the low to moderate end...
If you replace the words flood victim with autism it's basically the same concept of feeling isolated and alone as you move on with your life.And if you're an autism family who is also a Harvey flood victim well......
Check out this news story featuring our board member Elaine Turner and the Guppy’s – an autism family who is one of our first families receiving much needed funds from our nonprofit. Thank you Mia Gradney!!