Thursday, September 8, 2011

Calculating The Cost of Autism

The lifetime per capita cost of autism is estimated at $3.2 million. Lost productivity and adult care are the largest components of costs. The distribution of costs over the life span varies by cost category.
In April of 2007 the Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine reported…..The expense of autism in the United States is costing our society upwards of $35 Billion in both medical and nonmedical cost to care for individuals diagnosed each year over their lifetime.
The report also includes in dual income households of a mother and father who care for 1 child living with a lower level of autism was reported to have loss in productivity as follows:  fathers were assumed to be unemployed 10% of the time and working full-time during remaining 90%; mothers were assumed to be unemployed 55% of the time and working half time 25% and full time 20%. However, fathers caring for a higher level child living with autism were assumed to be unemployed for 20% of the time while mothers were assumed to be unemployed 60% of the time and were working half time 30% of the time and 10% full time.
Direct medical costs for the first 5 years of life average around $35,000; age 8 $6,000 then decline through the end of life to about $1,000. Direct nonmedical costs for the first 20 years of life average around $10,000 - $16,000, while peaking in age ranges of 23-27 years of life to around $27,500 and then decline to around $8,000 through the end of life. Indirect cost are around $43,000 in early life, peaking in age ranges 23-27 to $52,000, and then declining through the end of life.
Social Velocity
Alemayehu and Warner reported; the typical American spends about $317,000 over his or her lifetime in direct medical costs, 60% of which is incurred after age 65. Whereas, individuals living with autism $306,000 in direct medical costs with 60% of those costs accruing after age 21.
Keep in mind this data is from a 2007 study and is the first of its kind. I have not been able to find any current information from the Center for Disease but, even at these figures from almost 4 years ago; .autism is an expensive challenge to overcome for families and with the unfortunate uncertain layers in our communities regarding funding for services, budget cuts, loss of jobs and the emotional toll …..The cost of living with autism grows ever higher.
For the full study report visit this link: 
For other information regarding autism from the Center for Disease control visits this link: