Autism is Costing Billions of Dollars Annually
Autism, a condition that causes disturbance in perceptions and relationships, is costing the nation about $126 billion per year. This has been reported by an organization Autism Speaks.
This study has been done by health services researchers David Mandell, Sc.D., of the University of Pennsylvania, and Martin Knapp, Ph.D., of the London School of Economics. They presented this finding in Hong Kong as a part of “Investing in our Future: The Economic Costs of Autism,” an international summit hosted by Goldman Sachs Hong Kong in collaboration with the Child Development Centre and Autism Speaks.
The researchers have also reported that autism resulted in more than $2.3 million of cost on one individual with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and intellectual disability (ID) – ID affects almost 40% of patients with autism – and $1.4 million on a person with ASD and no intellectual disability.
These studies came at the same time, when Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported an increase in ASD prevalence figures. CDC has recently reported that 1 in 88 children have ASD while the ratio was 1 in 110 in 2009. It is obvious that with the increase in cases of autism cost on the disease will also increase.
“These figures make it all the more clear that our society as a whole needs to become engaged in solving this public health emergency,” says Autism Speaks Chief Science Officer Geri Dawson, Ph.D. “All of us are touched by autism and its economic burden. We need our national and state leaders – and political candidates – to rise to the challenge by making autism one of our top public health priorities.”
Bob Wright, co-founder of Autism Speaks, adds, “Autism is a global public health crisis. The costs are staggering and will continue to rise as prevalence continues to increase. We know that early diagnosis and treatment are critical, so it is imperative that the U.S. and governments around the world step up their commitment to helping people living with autism today. The investment we make now is essential to reducing the long-term costs of autism.”
In all these situations, there is also a good news. Researchers have reported that some children with mild symptoms of autism show improvements in communication and social behavior with time.