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Autism Facts and Figures

Prevalence

  • In 2018 the CDC determined that approximately 1 in 59 children is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
    • 1 in 37 boys
    • 1 in 151 girls
  • Boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls.
  • Autism affects all ethnic and socioeconomic groups.
  • Early intervention affords the best opportunity to support healthy development and deliver benefits across the lifespan.
  • There is no medical detection for autism.

Causes

  • Research indicates that genetics are involved in the vast majority of cases.
  • Over the last two decades, extensive research has asked whether there is any link between childhood vaccinations and autism. The results of this research are clear: Vaccines do not cause autism.

Autism in Adulthood

  • Over the next decade, an estimated 500,000 teens (50,000 each year) will enter adulthood and age out of school-based autism services.
  • Research demonstrates that job activities that encourage independence reduce autism symptoms and increase daily living skills.

Economic Costs

  • The cost of caring for Americans with autism had reach $268 billion in 2015 and would rise to $461 billion by 2025 in the absence of more effective interventions and support across the life span.
  • The majority of autism’s costs in the U.S. are for adult services – an estimated $175 to $196 billion a year, compared to $61 to $66 billion a year for children.

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