Understanding and Addressing the Impact of Autism on the Family

Issue Brief

Understanding and Addressing the Impact of Autism on the Family

David S. Mandell

Children and adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) have needs that challenge our systems of care. A new study estimates ASDs cost more than $126 billion each year in the U.S. – an amount that reflects both the costs of providing educational and medical services as well as the costs of not intervening early and effectively enough to prevent lifelong disability. This Issue Brief summarizes the implications of childhood autism for parental employment and earnings, and analyzes whether community-based services can reduce costly, psychiatric hospitalizations of children with ASDs.