According to the Centers for Disease Control:
1 in 88 children have been identified with an autism spectrum disorder.
It is reported among all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups.
It is 5 times more common in boys (1 in 52) than girls (1 in 252).
In identical twins, if one child has ASD, the other will be affected from 36 to 95% of the time. In non-identical twins the chances drop to between 2 and 8%.
Parents with an ASD child have a 2 to 18% chance of having a second child likewise affected.
About 10% of children with ASD have certain genetic or chromosomal conditions such as Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, tuberous sclerosis and other such disorders.
Children born to older parents are at a higher risk for ASD.
Research suggests the diagnosis could be reliably made at age 2 though most are not diagnosed till after age 4. Studies also show that parents with a child with ASD notice a developmental problem before their child’s first birthday. Concerns about vision and hearing were more often reported in the first year as well as differences in social, communication and fine motor skills.
Individuals with ASD have an average medical expenditure exceeding those without by 4 to 6000 per year.
On average medical costs are 4 to 6 times greater than those without the diagnosis.
In addition to medical costs, intensive behavioral interventions for children with ASD’s cost $40K to $60K per child per year.