The Financial cost of Autism?

Autism – A recently published study from the London School of Economics, led by Professor Martin Knapp, found that the cost of autism was more than that of cancer, strokes and heart disease.

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