LSE researchers believe that the cost is so high because Autism is a lifelong condition. Recent findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that 1 in 68 children now have ASD.
Autism alone costs the UK economy £32bn a year and this is more than any other medical condition.
Professor Martin Knapp said of the report’s findings:
“Autism is more common than perhaps people realise – it’s more than 1% of the population. Also the impact that it has is across the lifespan, particularly for people with autism and learning difficulties, also known as low-functioning autism. Those individuals would need quite a lot of care and support from a pretty early age. You’re talking about 60 to 70 years of support for people with this level of need.”
According to the National Autistic Society:
“The latest prevalence studies of autism indicate that 1.1% of the population in the UK may have autism. This means that over 695,000 people in the UK may have autism, an estimate derived from the 1.1% prevalence rate applied to the 2011 UK census figures.”
The paper, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics on Monday, was a joint UK-US study.
Autism Daily Newscast’s health reporter, Dr Paul Whiteley has written his own comment about the findings that can be read here