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Autism - Facts & Statistics
  • Prevalence of Autism is estimated at 1 in 88 births.
  • 1 to 1.5 million Americans live with an autism spectrum disorder.
    Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2009) and 2000 U.S. Census figure of 280 million Americans.
  • Fastest-growing developmental disability; 1,148% growth rate.
    Source: "Autistic Spectrum Disorders: Changes in the California Caseload, An Update June 1987 June 20007." Cavagnaro, Andre T., California Health and Human Services Agency. State of California 2003 survey of developmental disabilities.
  • In the U.S., autism costs society a staggering $126 billion per year (U.S.) – a number that has more than tripled since 2006.
  • The cost of autism in the U.K. has reached more than $54 billion.
  • The costs of providing care for each person with autism affected by intellectual disability through his or her lifespan are $2.3 million in the U.S. and $2.4 million in the U.K.
  • The lifetime costs of caring for individuals who are not impacted by intellectual disability are $1.4 million in the U.S. and $1.46 million in the U.K.
    Source: Autism Society estimates based on UK study by Knapp M, & Mandell, D. (2012) "Invensting in our Future: the Economic Costs of Autism. Presented at the international conference "Investing in our Future: The Economic Costs of Autism," hosted by Goldman Sachs in collaboration with the Child Development Centre and Autism Speaks, on March 31 in Hong Kong.
  • 60% of costs are in adult services.
    Source: Autism Society estimate.
  • Only 56% of students with autism finish high school.
    Source: Wagner. M., et al. An Overview of Findings from Wave 2 of the National Transition Study, SRI International, Menlo Park, CA.
  • According to the Current Population Survey (December 2010) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Washington, DC., unemployment rate for people with disabilities was at 14%, compared with 9% for people without a disability. Additionally, during the same period, only 21% of all adults with disabilities participated in the labor force as compared with 69% of the non-disabled population.
    Source: Current Population Survey (December 2010); Bureau of Labor Statistics, Washington, DC.
  • A state-wide study conducted in Florida in 2008 by The Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) indicated that approximately

    • 67% of the 200 families of 18-22 year olds with autism surveyed did not have knowledge of transition services
    • 73% indicated they needed help with their job
    • 63% indicated they need help with daily living
    • 78% do not know of agencies or professionals who can help them find work; and
    • 74% indicated that they would want to work, but only 19% were actually employed.

According to a National Autistic Society survey of over 450 children and adults with autism

  • 70%of adults with autism are unable to live independently.
  • Of these individuals

    • 49%live with family members and
    • 32%livle in residential care facilities
  • Only 3% of adults with autism live fully independently.
  • Regarding mental health, over half of adults with autism have been diagnosed with depression some time in their adult life while 11% say they have suffered a "nervous breakdown."
  • Despite having participated in at least two autism interventions in childhood, 65% continue having difficulty making friends.
  • Of teens surveyed, 74% stated that they had difficulty making friends.

 

  • Young people with a disability are more likely to report being fairly or very dissatisfied with their life so far (17%) than young people without a disability (7%) at age 19.
    Source: Department for Education (2011) The Activities and Experiences of 19 year olds, England 2010.
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