Study Calculates Lifetime Cost Of Autism At $2.4 Million

USA Today (6/10, Weintraub) reports that according to a study published online June 9 in JAMA Pediatrics, autism is “one of the costliest disabilities – adding $2.4 million across the lifespan if the person has intellectual disabilities and $1.4 million if they don’t.”

The Los Angeles Times (6/10, Kaplan) “Science Now” blog points out that the “money spent caring for Americans with autism each year exceeds interest paid on the national debt.” In the case of adults, “the biggest costs were tied to living expenses, especially in facilities that require lots of staff.” Other costs include “medical expenses and the lost productivity of people on the autism spectrum.” For children, costs include early-intervention treatments and lost parental productivity.

The Boston Globe (6/9, Salahi) reports that people with autism often “require specialized schooling and other services that are not covered by insurance, which contribute to the increased costs.” In fact, “the annual cost of autism therapies and treatments can exceed $40,000 to $60,000 per year, according to the Autism Action Partnership.”

Bloomberg News (6/10, Ostrow) reports that after reviewing “US and UK studies on patients with autism and their families to examine costs,” researchers discovered that “the national cost of supporting children with autism is estimated to be $61 billion to $66 billion a year in the US and $4.5 billion to $5 billion a year in the UK.” The study received funding from the New York-based advocacy group Autism Speaks.

The Huffington Post (6/10, Pearson) points out that an accompanying editorial observed that “an autism diagnosis means ‘a lifetime of absorbing many of the financial and caregiving burdens associated with the disorder, especially in adulthood when the availability of societal supports diminishes.’”

Also covering the story are Reuters (6/10, Seaman), TIME (6/10, Park), the Kaiser Health News(6/10, Gold) “Capsules” blog, CNBC (6/10, Boyle), Congressional Quarterly (6/10, Young, Subscription Publication), and HealthDay (6/10, Thompson).

Related Links:

— “Caring for those with autism runs $2M-plus for life,” Karen Weintraub, USA Today, June 9, 2014.

Posted in In The News.