What is Autism?
Autism is a developmental disability which causes significant social, communication, and behavioral challenges. Because autism is a spectrum disorder, the combination of symptoms and their level of severity varies from person to person.
Diagnosis criteria for autism is specific, a person must exhibit the following symptoms to a degree that significantly impairs their daily living:
- Persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction
- Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities
Lifetime Social Costs of Autism
Social costs associated with autism for 1990-2019 are estimated at $7 trillion dollars. If the rate of increase in prevalence continues, costs to society could reach nearly $15 trillion by 2029. These estimates only reflect what society pays, not the additional expenses families incur out of their own pockets.