According to the CDC, about 1 in 68 children (or 14.7 per 1,000 8 year olds) were identified with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). This is based on 8-year-old children living in 11 communities. It does not represent the entire population of children in the United States. If i had to guess, this is probably fairly accurate but the rates probably increase in younger samples.
Autism affects 1 in 68 children
Autism is also affected by gender. Boys are about 5 times more likely to be identified with ASD than girls. About 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls are identified with ASD. The interesting fact here is that even though volume is higher in boys, girls are more specifically affected (moderate to severe).
Higher rates of diagnosis of ASD are documented in the north than in the south. For example, 1 in 175 children in Alabama as compared to 1 in 45 in New Jersey, although, I think much of that variance is more about access to healthcare, poverty levels and general environment.
Timing of diagnosis
Unfortunately, less than half of children identified with ASD (44%) were tested by the time they were 3 years old with most not being diagnosed until after age 4. Children can be diagnosed with ASD as early as age 2. Early intervention is the most important thing a parent can provide.
Children can be diagnosed with ASD as early as age 2.
Economic Impact on Families
The average estimated cost is at least $17,000 more per year to care for a child with ASD compared to a child without ASD. In more severe ASD cases, the costs can increase to over $21,000. A large portion of these costs are therapy, medication, and non-family caregiving.
This economic impact also leads to higher divorce rates among parents with ASD children, more specifically those with 1 child.
For more information about Autism, visit autism.com.