Autism Stats

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This is our final Autism Aware post. Read the others here.

To close out Autism Awareness month, we want to share some of the autism statistics we gathered this month. The more we know, the greater impact we can have. Feel free to share!

Prevalence: The CDC released new prevalence rates for autism in the US as 1 in 68. Read our post on this upward trend here. Autism is reported to occur in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups, and is almost five times more common among boys (1 in 42) than among girls (1 in 189).

Financial Cost: It is estimated to cost at least $17,000 more per year to care for a child with autism compared to a child without autism. Costs include health care, education, autism-related therapy, family-coordinated services, and caregiver time. For a child with more severe autism, costs per year increase to over $21,000. Taken together, it is estimated that total societal costs of caring for children with autism were over $9 billion in 2011. Some groups state that a family will spend $60,000 per year on average for their child with autism.

Marriage: Despite the commonly held notion that parents living with autism divorce at alarming rates (80%), studies reflect that the divorce rate amongst families living with autism (64%) is the same as the general population (65%).

Employment: On average, mothers living with autism earn 56%  less than mothers of children with no health limitation. They are 6% less likely to be employed and work 7 hours less per week, on average, than mothers of children with no health limitation. There were no statistically significant differences in fathers’ labor market outcomes across 3 groups.

Bullying: 63% of children with autism are bullied. This is compared to 10% of the general population. Read our post on this topic here.

Age of diagnosis: Despite being able to diagnosis autism reliably at the age of 2, the average age of diagnosis in the U.S. is over four years of age. 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.

Family: Parents who have a child with autism have a 2%–18% chance of having a second child who is also affected, and studies have shown that among identical twins, if one child has autism, then the other will be affected about 36-95% of the time. In non-identical twins, if one child has autism, then the other is affected about 0-31% of the time.

Read our entire Autism Aware series.

Author: Shannon

Shannon parents a son on the spectrum, lives in MN and writes to stay sane. She is passionate about connecting families to the services that will transform their lives. Read her full bio here.

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