Autism’s Cost

A recent study estimates the average cost for ABA therapy for a child diagnosed with autism is $60,000 per year from when he or she is diagnosed (typically at age 3) until entering school at age 6 or 7. The total cost for these four years of treatment: $240,000.

Children diagnosed with autism incur further costs:

  • 40% more visits to a pediatrician than children not diagnosed with autism
  • 7 times more psychiatric visits for children more than 4 years old
  • 13 times more psychiatric visits for children 2 to 4 years old
  • 12 times more psychiatric inpatient hospital days
  • 40% higher medication costs than children not diagnosed with autism

The increasing costs of autism include more than direct costs.

Autism’s Impact on Families

  • 50% report the need to reduce or stop work
  • 33% report experiencing financial burdens related to ASD health care costs
  • 46% of parents need more help or information managing emotional and physical stress
  • 40% need more help or information balancing work/family responsibilities

—National Business Group on Health and American Academy of Pediatrics