April is Autism Awareness Month, set aside to educate families and others about a developmental disability that can significantly impact the behavior, communication and social lives of those who have it. From the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, here are 10 things you might not now about autism spectrum disorder.
1. About one in 68 children has been identified with it, according to estimates from CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network.
2. ASD is reported to occur in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups.
3. It is almost five times more common among boys (one in 42) than among girls (one in 189).
4. Studies have shown that among identical twins, if one child has autism spectrum disorder, then the other will be affected about 36 percent to 95 percent of the time. In non-identical twins, if one child has the disorder, then the other is affected about 0 percent to 31 percent of the time.
5. Parents who have a child with autism spectrum disorder have a 2 percent to 18 percent chance of having a second child who is also affected.
6. Almost half – 46 percent — of children identified with autism spectrum disorder has average to above average intellectual ability.
7. Children born to older parents are at a higher risk for having autism spectrum disorder.
8. On average, children identified with autism spectrum disorder were not diagnosed until after age 4, even though children can be diagnosed as early as 2.
9. It is estimated to cost at least $17,000 more per year to care for a child with autism spectrum disorder than it does to care for a child without the condition. Costs include health care, education, autism-related therapy, family-coordinated services and caregiver time. For a child with more severe autism spectrum disorder, costs per year increase to over $21,000. Taken together, it is estimated that total societal costs of caring for children with autism were more than $9 billion in 2011.
10. Children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder had average medical expenditures that exceeded those without the disorder by $4,110 to $6,200 a year. On average, medical expenditures for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder were 4.1 to 6.2 times greater than for those without the condition.
©2014 The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.)
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