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Interesting Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Statistics

These statistics from the Center for Disease Control - Autism Disorder give interesting perspective about the prevalence, risk factors, and economic costs of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Prevalence

  • About 1 in 68 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) according to estimates from CDC's Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network.
  • ASD is reported to occur in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups.
  • ASD is almost 5 times more common among boys (1 in 42) than among girls (1 in 189).
  • Studies in Asia, Europe, and North America have identified individuals with ASD with an average prevalence of about 1%. A study in South Korea reported a prevalence of 2.6%.
  • About 1 in 6 children in the United States had a developmental disability in 2006-2008, ranging from mild disabilities such as speech and language impairments to serious developmental disabilities, such as intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, and autism.

Risk Factors and Characteristics

  • Studies have shown that among identical twins, if one child has ASD, then the other will be affected about 36-95% of the time. In non-identical twins, if one child has ASD, then the other is affected about 0-31% of the time.
  • Parents who have a child with ASD have a 2%–18% chance of having a second child who is also affected.
  • ASD tends to occur more often in people who have certain genetic or chromosomal conditions. About 10% of children with autism are also identified as having Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, tuberous sclerosis, or other genetic and chromosomal disorders.
  • Almost half (46%) of children (as of age 8) identified with ASD have average to above average intellectual ability.
  • Children born to older parents are at a higher risk for having ASD.
  • A small percentage of children who are born prematurely or with low birth weight are at greater risk for having ASD.
  • ASD commonly co-occurs with other developmental, psychiatric, neurologic, chromosomal, and genetic diagnoses. The co-occurrence of one or more non-ASD developmental diagnoses is 83%. The co-occurrence of one or more psychiatric diagnoses is 10%.

Diagnosis

  • Research has shown that a diagnosis of autism at age 2 can be reliable, valid, and stable.
  • On average, children identified with ASD were not diagnosed until after age 4, even though children can be diagnosed as early as age 2. When looking at age of first diagnosis by subtype, on average, those children were diagnosed with Autistic Disorder at age 4, Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified at age 4 years and 2 months, and Asperger Disorder at age 6 years and 2 months.
  • Studies have shown that parents of children with ASD notice a developmental problem before their child's first birthday. Concerns about vision and hearing were more often reported in the first year, and differences in social, communication, and fine motor skills were evident from 6 months of age.

Economic Costs

  • It is estimated to cost at least $17,000 more per year to care for a child with ASD compared to a child without ASD. Costs include health care, education, ASD-related therapy, family-coordinated services, and caregiver time. For a child with more severe ASD, costs per year increase to over $21,000. Taken together, it is estimated that total societal costs of caring for children with ASD were over $9 billion in 2011.
  • Children and adolescents with ASD had average medical expenditures that exceeded those without ASD by $4,110–$6,200 per year. On average, medical expenditures for children and adolescents with ASD were 4.1–6.2 times greater than for those without ASD. Differences in median expenditures ranged from $2,240 to $3,360 per year with median expenditures 8.4–9.5 times greater.
  • In 2005, the average annual medical costs for Medicaid-enrolled children with ASD were $10,709 per child, which was about six times higher than costs for children without ASD ($1,812).
  • In addition to medical costs, intensive behavioral interventions for children with ASD cost $40,000 to $60,000 per child per year.

Do you know someone with ASD preparing to attend college in Seattle? Check out SAILS - the Seattle Central College course designed to help freshman with ASD succeed at Seattle Central.

Contact us for more information about freshmen students with ASD getting off to a great start at Seattle Central College.

1 in 6 Children
About 1 in 6 children in the United States had a developmental disability in 2006-2008.