New report estimates show that roughly 1 in 88 American children has been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, representing an increase of more than 20% over previous estimates. It is unclear why the number of diagnoses are on the rise, though some say the higher numbers are attributable in part to changes in strategies for screening, diagnosing and serving children with the disorder.
Baio, J. (2012). Prevalence of autism spectrum disorders. Atlanta: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The societal cost of autism has risen to $137 billion a year, according to preliminary findings of a new study. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and the London School of Economics considered the costs of education, health care and other services, along with newly released prevalence estimates, in completing the analysis. The study found the majority of costs associated with the disorder occurring in the adult years.
Knapp, M., & Mandell, D. (2012). Estimating the economic costs of Autism. New York: Autism Speaks.