Autism affects over 400,000 people in the U.S. and occurs in about 1 in every 50 individuals. The developmental disability usually appears by the time a child is three years old and it is four times more common in boys than girls.
For an autistic child, the ability to communicate and interact socially can be very difficult. Typical Autism Spectrum Disorder behavior includes stereotyped actions, such as hand flapping and body rocking, resistance to change, and in some instances, self-injury or aggression.
According to a study funded by Autism Speaks, an advocacy group, it costs an estimated $1.4 million to provide care for an autistic person in the U.S. over their lifetime. On average this can cost a family $60,000 per year. If the child has intellectual disabilities (an IQ of 70 or less), which impacts nearly half of the autistic population, the cost of care over their lifetime increases to $2.3 million.
In the U.S., Autism is the third most common developmental disability. If you have concerns about your child's development, talk to their doctor today. Learn the signs to help identify potential problems early, as this could lead to more effective treatment and possibly the prevention of other developmental issues.
To learn more, please visit Autism Resource Central for additional information and resources.