Autism is a developmental disorder of the nervous system which is affecting a growing number of new generation children. The current rate of occurrence is 1 in 50 which is an alarming rate of increase compared to the 1in 300 about a decade ago. The current growth rate of this disorder is 10 to 17%.
By statistics, Autism is 5 times more prevalent among boys with over 2 million Americans suffering from it. The healthcare costs associated with Autism come to $126 billion per annum with individual expenses for a lifetime amounting to $3.9 million.
The direct medical and care costs for a person affected by Autism accounts for only 40% fo the total costs. The rest of the 60% is through indirect expenses such as wages and benefits lost by the person with ASD and the caregiver.
ASD leads to impaired social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication, repetitive and restricted interests. This can lead to marital stress and divorce in 80% of such parents. Siblings are also affected with feelings of guilt and anxiety within them.
Current line of treatment includes educational and behavioral interventions, diet and medication. Early detection and intervention are the only way to treat ASD.