Scientists at the University of California, Davis, say they have calculated the total costs of caring for people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the United States today and 10 years from now for the first time.
Their study, published online Tuesday in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorder, makes a bleak prediction for future costs of the condition: They predict that for ASD-related medical, nonmedical and productivity, losses are $268 billion for 2015 and $461 billion for 2025, according to a news release. And they projected that, if the number of ASD cases continues to climb at the same rate it has in recent years, those costs could reach $1 trillion within a decade.
“The current costs of ASD are more than double the combined costs of stroke and hypertension, and on a par with the costs of diabetes,” senior study author Paul Leigh, professor of public health sciences and researcher with the Center for Healthcare Policy and Research at UC Davis, said in the news release. “There should be at least as much public, research and government attention to finding the causes and best treatments for ASD as there is for these other major diseases.”
According to the release, Leigh and study co-author Juan Du, who received her doctoral degree at UC Davis, used data from various sources including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Bureau of Labor Statistics and medical research to determine the per-person then total costs of ASD. The total costs incorporated residential care, special education, medical services, in-home care, employment support, transportation and lost productivity.
- We know that there is a real increase in Autism cases.
- We know that there are unknown factors causing the increase.
- The government and the media do not talk about this much or pretend it does not happen
- We know they know more than they would like to admit: