Scope of the Problem

Quick Statistics

  • About one in every 68 children in the United States struggles with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and ASD occurs in all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups.1
  • Autism is more common in the United States than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes and pediatric AIDS combined.2
  • The incidence of ASD diagnoses is rising at alarming rates—greater than ten-fold in just two decades—making ASD the fastest growing serious developmental disability in the United States.3
  • Autism costs the nation over $137 billion per year, a figure expected to significantly increase in the next decade.4
  • Medical expenditures for individuals with an ASD are on average 4.1 to 6.2 times greater than for those without an ASD.5
  • In addition to medical costs, intensive behavioral interventions for children with ASD can cost up to $80,000 per child per year.6


1Baio J. Prevalence of autism spectrum disorders: Autism and Disabilities Monitoring Network, 14 sites, United States, 2008. 
2The 2011 Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee Strategic Plan for Autism Spectrum Disorder Research
3+4  Talk About Curing Autism: Latest Autism Statistics 
5Shimabukuro TT, Grosse SC, Rice C. Medical expenditures for children with an autism spectrum disorder in a privately insured population. J Autism Dev Disord 2008 Mar; 38(3):546-52.
6Amendah, D., Grosse, S.D., Peacock, G., & Mandell, D.S. (2011). The economic costs of autism: A review. In D. Amaral, D. Geschwind, & G. Dawson (Eds.), Autism spectrum disorders (pp, 1346-1360).
Oxford: Oxford University Press.