May 21, 2009

Autism in Britain costs about $43 billion

The annual costs of autism spectrum disorder in Britain is more than $42 billion a year, researchers estimate.

The study, published in the Journal Autism, said the cost of supporting children with autism spectrum disorder was estimated to be $4.2 billion per year. The cost of carrying for adults with the disorder was put at $39 billion annually.

Martin Knapp of the London School of Economics provided a comprehensive analysis of the economic impacts of autism spectrum disorder in Britain involving the healthcare system, social care agencies, education and housing budgets.

The costs were based on estimates for 539,766 people with autism spectrum disorder in the United Kingdom 432,750 adults age 18 and older and 107,016 children and adolescents up to age 17.

The researchers combined existing data estimating prevalence of autism, intellectual disability, place of residence, service use, lost productivity and costs per individual.

The findings were also presented at the Autism & Employment Workshop at the University of London.